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AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Limited Efficacy In Beating South African Strain

Data from a small and early phase trial said that the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc is not effective enough to defeat the South African variant of the coronavirus. 

The report came after the University of the Witwatersrand and Oxford University showed that the efficacy of the vaccine had significantly reduced against the South African strain of the virus. 

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Limited Efficacy In Beating South African Strain

The developers said that they are currently working on a new shot that is effective to fight against the variant detected firstly in South Africa. 

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Limited Efficacy In Beating South African Strain

The major face in the program of AstraZeneca vaccine development. Sarah Gilbert said that they are working on adapting the vaccine that would beat the coronavirus, especially the virus variant found in South Africa. She added that the new shot will be available by autumn.

AstraZeneca’s efficacy in beating severe conditions, deaths, and hospitalizations is yet to be determined since the subjects were predominantly young and healthy adults. According to the first report on the findings, no one was died or hospitalized among those who participated. 

The spokesperson of the AstraZeneca vaccine said that their early phase trial results showed limited efficacy of the vaccine against mild disease primarily due to the B.1.351 variant, that has been discovered in South Africa.

The spokesperson also added that they believe in their vaccine as it can protect against severe diseases since neutralizing antibody activity is equivalent to that of other vaccines that have appeared against the coronavirus.

Other vaccines also offer protection and demonstrate their action against various other deadly diseases. The spokesperson added that the initial data also indicated other responses in the immune system including T-cell responses, that could remain intact in the South African variant.

The South African strain has become a major threat in the U.S lately. However, both Moderna and Pfizer, which have been administered across the country are proven to be effective against it. 

The British Medical Journal said that when the virus mutates into new variants, thousands of changes occur. Among which, only a tiny minority are likely to be important or remarkably transform the virus.

Among those that have been discovered, strains found in the U.K, South Africa, and Brazil seemed to be more contagious.

Since more other countries across the world have already started distributing the initial doses, this threat would remain until the vaccine doses they administer are proven to be effective against the more contagious variants. 

The developers assured that their shots appeared to be effective against the other variants, including the strains which were found in the U.K and Brazil.

Through that, pharma companies are competing with each other to develop booster shots against the new strains according to the evolution of the coronavirus.

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