Wits: AstraZeneca vaccine less effective against variant first discovered in SA
In a statement released by Wits University this afternoon, trial investigators said the vaccine had high efficacy against the original coronavirus.
CAPE TOWN - The AstraZeneca vaccine provides minimal protection against mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms from variant first discovered in South Africa.
In a statement released by Wits University on Sunday afternoon, trial investigators said the vaccine had high efficacy against the original coronavirus.
More than 2000 adults between the ages of 18 and 65-old-years old were enrolled from June to November across seven sites in Gauteng and the Western Cape.
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In a pre-print of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine study, researchers say in young South African adults, the vaccine offers limited protection against the 501Y.V2 variant.
Trial investigators said ongoing transmission in vaccinated populations would continue due to the virus’s mutating nature.
In the South African leg of the trial, protection against moderate to severe COVID-19, hospitalisation or death could not be assessed as the target population was at low risk.
The trial’s lead investigator in the country professor Shabir Madhi said the findings force them to “recalibrate thinking about how to approach the pandemic virus”.
Madhi said the focus should also shift “from the aspirational goal of herd immunity against transmission to the protection of all at-risk individuals in the population against severe disease”
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