After studies showed that the vaccine gives limited protection against the Covid-19 variant that is currently in circulation in the world, South Africa has decided to put a hold on AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine jabs.
Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize has announced that the government will pursue scientific consultation on how to proceed with vaccines further. This comes after a report that showed that the vaccine from AstraZeneca is not as successful against the 501Y.V2 strain that late last year triggered the second wave of infection.
The vaccine showed 75 per cent effectiveness against the wild-type virus, according to the researchers.
In recent trials, however, the vaccine only offers 22 per cent defence against the current coronavirus variant.
Vaccine AstraZeneca Covid-19 may have decreased efficacy against the South African strain:
AstraZeneca said last week that it hypothesized that its Covid-19 vaccine could protect against serious illnesses and that it had already begun to adapt the vaccine to the 501Y.V2 version.
Nevertheless, Professor Shabir Madhi, lead researcher on the AstraZeneca trial in South Africa, said the vaccine data was a reality check and that it was time to “recalibrate our Covid-19 vaccine expectations,” Indian Express said.
India accepts the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca
In the coming weeks, South Africa has now agreed to administer the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer/BioNTech.
What does that mean for the vaccine program we said is going to begin in February? The response is that it will continue,” said Mkhize during an online news briefing.
We plan to have J&J vaccines from next week for the next four weeks, and there will be Pfizer vaccines,” he added.”