AstraZeneca races to adapt Covid vaccine to variant as South Africa suspends rollout

CNBC:

  • Drugmaker AstraZeneca is racing to adapt its Covid-19 vaccine in the face of new variants of the virus.
  • The process has become more urgent after a small-scale study found that it was less effective at protecting against the more virulent strain discovered in South Africa.
  • Vaccine makers are working on second-generation shots to target variants.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca is racing to adapt its Covid-19 vaccine in the face of new variants of the virus, with the process becoming more urgent after a small-scale study found that it was less effective at protecting against the more virulent strain discovered in South Africa.

The country said it would suspend the use of the shot in its vaccination program after a study, published Sunday and not yet peer reviewed, found that the vaccine offered “minimal protection” against mild to moderate disease caused by the mutation found in South Africa.

Researchers from the University of Witwatersrand and others in South Africa, and the University of Oxford, noted that the study was small, involving only around 2,000 volunteers who had an average age of 31. Oxford University said “protection against moderate-severe disease, hospitalization or death could not be assessed in this study as the target population were at such low risk.”

Read more at CNBC

Buy on Amazon!