South Africa – South Africa puts AZ/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine roll-out on hold

South Africa (SA) has put its planned roll-out of AstraZeneca(AZ)/Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine on hold after new study results showed that the jab provides ‘minimal’ protection against the SA variant.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Witwatersrand and Oxford University, found that a two-dose regimen of the vaccine – also known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 – provides only minimal protection against mild-to-moderate COVID-19 caused by the SA or B.1.351 variant.

The research included approximately 2,000 volunteers with mild disease, which is defined as having at least one symptom of COVID-19.

The study did not assess the AZ/Oxford vaccine’s ability to protect against moderate-to-severe disease caused by the SA variant.

The early data, which has not yet been peer reviewed, seems to support the theory that mutations in the virus observed in the SA variant will enable ongoing transmission in vaccinated populations…