Astrazeneca vaccine only has minimal efficacy against the South African variant

Protection against extreme gradations is still likely

Because the study participants were so young, no statement can be made about whether vaccination might prevent severe disease. These courses are generally rare in the age group of participants. However, recently published results of a vaccine by Janssen / Johnson & Johnson show that vector vaccination can also make acute to fatal courses of the disease significantly less common in the South African variant.

“This is promising data that shows that another very important goal is still being achieved,” said Shabir Madi, a vaccine researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand and head of the trial in South Africa. However, it restricted: “We may have to distance ourselves from the desired goal of herd immunity, and instead provide protection for vulnerable groups.”

This study confirms, as expected, that the pandemic coronavirus will find ways to spread further in the vaccinated population. However, along with the encouraging results of other studies in South Africa, such as those using a similar viral vector, vaccines could continue to provide relief to health systems by preventing dangerous diseases.


Andrew Pollard is a detective at the University of Oxford

Modification of the planned vaccine

The researchers also announced that they will work to adapt their vaccine to the mutated variant. However, this can only be a product when the mutation completely replaces the previous variants. It is not clear if this will happen.

South Africa has initially halted plans to vaccinate health system workers with the Astrazeneca vaccine based on the now published results. Since they have a very high risk of infecting members of high-risk groups if infected, protection from the spread of the virus is especially important here. It has not yet been announced which groups will receive the 1 million doses of vaccine just delivered to South Africa instead.

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