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Oxford / AstraZeneca COVID has low efficacy against South African variants: Reuters study

© Reuters.File photo: COVID-19 vaccination at Basingstoke

Derek Francis and Andy Bruce

(Reuters)-British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca (L :) said the vaccine, developed at Oxford University on Saturday, is limited to mild diseases caused by the COVID-19 variant in South Africa, based on early data from the study. He said it seems to provide only defensive protection.

According to a study by the University of the Witwatersland and Oxford University in South Africa, a report from the Financial Times published earlier that day showed that the vaccine significantly reduced its effectiveness against South African variants.

Among the coronavirus variants that scientists and public health experts are currently most concerned about are the so-called British, South African, and Brazilian variants, which appear to be spreading more rapidly than other variants. is.

AstraZeneca spokesman responded to the FT’s report by saying, “In this small phase I / II study, early data show efficacy against mild disease, primarily due to B.1.351 South African variants. Has been shown to be limited. “

The newspaper said none of the more than 2,000 study participants were hospitalized or died.

“But given that the subjects were primarily young, healthy adults, we could not adequately confirm their effect on serious illness and hospitalization,” said a AstraZeneca spokesman.

The company said it believes its vaccine can prevent serious illness, given that its neutralizing antibody activity is comparable to other COVID-19 vaccines that have shown protection against serious illness. ..

According to the FT, the study, which involved 2,026 people, half of whom formed a placebo group, has not been peer-reviewed.

According to the British Medical Journal, thousands of individual changes have occurred as the virus mutated into new variants, but only a few are important or likely to change the virus in a significant way. ..

“Oxford University and AstraZeneca have begun to adapt the vaccine to this variant and will make rapid progress through clinical development to prepare for fall delivery if needed,” AstraZeneca spokesman said. Mann said.

On Friday, Oxford said their vaccine had similar efficacy against British coronavirus mutants, as did previously distributed mutants.

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Oxford / AstraZeneca COVID has low efficacy against South African variants: Reuters study Oxford / AstraZeneca COVID has low efficacy against South African variants: Reuters study

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