İrem UZUN -TDO- The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine appears to offer only limited protection against mild disease caused by the South African variant of COVID-19, based on early data from a trial.
A study, not yet peer reviewed, involved about 2,000 people who were on average 31 years old. But Prof Sarah Gilbert, Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine developer, said vaccines should still protect against severe disease. She said developers were likely to have a modified Oxford jab by the autumn to combat the South Africa variant.
South Africa has suspended the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in its immunization program until a committee of scientists advises on the best way to proceed. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s announcement on Sunday came after trial data. The government had intended to soon roll the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot out to healthcare workers, after receiving 1 million doses produced by the Serum Institute of India on Monday. Instead, it will offer vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer in the coming weeks while experts consider how the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot can be deployed.