AstraZeneca Jab Not Protective Against South African Strain: Study
The results are a cause for concern as the South African variants share similar mutations to the other variants.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is not protective against mild to moderate COVID caused by the B.1.351 variant seen in South Africa, according to a latest study.
The clinical trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had only 10.4 per cent efficacy against mild to moderate infections caused by the B.1.351 variant.
The results are a cause for concern as this variant shares similar mutations to the other variants leaving those vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine potentially exposed to multiple variants, according to Forbes.
The trial was conducted between June 24 and November 9, 2020 in South Africa, using a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled approach.
It was conducted in people not infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in South Africa, aged between 18 to 64 years old with a median age of 30 years old.
Among the 750 participants, 19 (2.5 per cent) developed mild to moderate COVID more than 14 days after the second dose, compared with 23 of 717 placebo recipients (3.2 per cent). Among the 42 participants with Covid-19, 39 cases (93 per cent) were caused by the B.1.351 variant.
These results show that the AstraZeneca vaccine did not show protection against mild-to-moderate COVID due to the B.1.351 variant.
Importantly, there were no cases of hospitalization for severe Covid-19 observed in the study. The researchers also cautioned that the trial findings are inconclusive with respect to whether the vaccine may protect against severe COVID caused by infection with the B.1.351 variant.
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