South Africa, Astrazeneca 'ineffective' against South African variant: government blocks vaccination
South African variant, Astrazeneca ‘ineffective’: the study conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg is the reason for the government’s step back.
South Africa, variant puts AstraZeneca vaccine in crisis: government stops everything
The Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca is said to be ineffective against the new variant of the virus found in South Africa – 501Y.V2 – and so the South African government has announced the suspension of the national immunisation campaign.
As reported in the international press, it is the study conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg that is behind the government’s move.
The researchers administered the serum to 2,000 people and found it to be effective against the severe forms of the Covid-19 variant in only 22% of cases, while the drug would not work at all against the more acute forms.
The study has not yet been published in a scientific journal or examined by other independent researchers, but it was enough to prompt the authorities to suspend the vaccination campaign.
South Africa currently only has millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine available, at a time when 90 percent of new cases of infection are attributed to the 501Y.V2 variant.
The authorities now have little time to decide what to do, as the doses will expire in April.