AstraZeneca vaccine gives limited protection against South African strain
Sunday, 07 February 2021
The AstraZeneca vaccine provides only limited protection against the South African variant of the coronavirus, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, based on the provisional results of a study to be released on Monday.
The study was conducted among 2,000 people and still needs to undergo peer reviews.
A spokesperson for AstraZeneca said it was still unclear whether the vaccine provides protection against severe forms of the illness caused by the South African variant (B.1.351) that require hospitalisation since the participants in the study were young and in good health.
However, the pharmaceutical company said it was convinced its vaccine provides protection against the worst forms of the South African variant since it produces antibodies similar to those of other vaccines that are effective against the virus.
It stressed that the vaccine should be effective if the gap of eight to 12 weeks between the two doses is respected.
AstraZeneca and Oxford University are currently working on adapting their vaccine to the B.1.351 variant, and stress that a new, effective vaccine against Covid-19 could be rolled out by autumn.