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AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine may have reduced efficacy against South African strain: Reports

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 07, 2021

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British drugmaker AstraZeneca maintained on Saturday that its Covid-19 vaccine offers limited immunity against the South African variant of the virus. This was based on preliminary data from a trial, as per media reports.

The study was carried out by researchers from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand and Oxford University. It showed that the vaccine is not as efficacious against the South African strain as it is against the wild-type coronavirus, Financial Times reported.

The newspaper stated that none of the over 2,000 trial participants had been hospitalized or died.

Oxford University and AstraZeneca have started making changes to their vaccine against the contagious variant of the virus in circulation. If need be, they may advance through clinical development in order to roll out the updated versions of the vaccine by autumn, the spokesperson said, the Wion reported.

Earlier this week, Astra’s executive vice president for biopharmaceutical research lowered expectations for the current vaccine’s efficacy against the variant.

“We’re not going to be surprised to see reduced efficacy. It’s to be expected that there will be reduced activity,” said Menelaos Nicolas Pangalos, a British neuroscientist and an Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca.

Published on February 07, 2021

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