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Covid-19: South Africa puts AstraZeneca vaccinations on hold over variant data

Feb 08, 2021 12:40 IST

South Africa said it will put on hold the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shot in its vaccination programme after data showed the drug failed to prevent mild and moderate cases of the virus variant that has appeared to be dominant in the country.
However, the country's Health Minister said that the government would await advice from scientists on how best to proceed further with this decision. Prior to the widespread circulation of the more contagious variant, the vaccine was showing the efficacy of around 75%, researchers said.

In a later analysis based mostly on infections by the new variant, there was only a 22% lower risk of developing mild-to-moderate coronavirus versus those given a placebo.

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