Share Prices & Company Research

Market News

08 Feb 2021 | 12:34

South Africa halts AstraZeneca vaccinations after weak results against local variant

(Sharecast News) - South Africa halted its rollout of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine after a study claimed that it offered "minimal protection" against mild to moderate disease from the local variant of the novel coronavirus.

According to Reuters, researchers from the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Oxford said in an analysis that the AstraZeneca vaccine provided minimal protection against mild or moderate infection from the South African variant among young people, known as B.1.351.

The study, which had yet to be peer-reviewed, was conducted amongst 2,000 volunteers with an average age of 31.

An analysis of infections by the South African variant showed that inoculation with the AstraZeneca shot only led to a 22% drop in the risk of developing mild-to-moderate Covid-19.

The vaccine developed jointly by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had been expected to prove especially useful for Africa as it was cheap and easier to store and transport than other shots, such as that from Pfizer.

The move by Pretoria to halt the rollout was a serious blow for the company as other regions might opt tp do the same.

"This study confirms that the pandemic coronavirus will find ways to continue to spread in vaccinated populations, as expected," said Andrew Pollard, chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial.

"But, taken with the promising results from other studies in South Africa using a similar viral vector, vaccines may continue to ease the toll on health care systems by preventing severe disease."

AstraZeneca reportedly said it believed its vaccine could protect against severe disease and death.

Oxford University vaccinologist Sarah Gilbert added that "We are working with AstraZeneca to optimise the pipeline required for a strain change should one become necessary.

"This is the same issue that is faced by all of the vaccine developers, and we will continue to monitor the emergence of new variants that arise in readiness for a future strain change."
Get in touch today
Join Redmayne Bentley
Talk to us now about opening a new account or transferring your account from another provider
0113 243 6941
Get in touch today
Contact your local office
Contact your local office to find out more
The value of your investments and the income from them may go down as well as up, and you could get back less than you invested.
Continuing our Personal Service: View our Latest COVID-19 Update: 30th April 2021
We use cookies on this site to improve your experience and help us provide you with a better website. An explanation of the cookies we use and their purpose can be found within our Cookie Policy. Your continued use of this site means you consent to the use of cookies.