COVID-19 problems: South Africa halts rollout of AstraZeneca’s vaccines.
The vaccine by the pharmaceutical company is reported to have shown ‘limited protection’ and disappointing results from a trial conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced.
“What does (this) mean for our vaccination programme which we said will start in February? The answer is it will proceed. From next week, (and) for the next four weeks, we expect that there will be J&J vaccines, there will be Pfizer vaccines. So what will be available to the health workers will be those vaccines….. The AstraZeneca vaccine will remain with us, up until the scientists give us clear indications as to what we need to do.”
AstraZeneca has conceded that “Early data has shown limited efficacy against mild disease primarily due to the B.1.351 South African variant. We do believe our vaccine could protect against severe disease, as neutralizing antibody activity is equivalent to that of other COVID-19 vaccines that have demonstrated activity against more severe disease, particularly when the dosing interval is optimised to 8-12 weeks.”
USAfricaonline.com reported last week on some of the problems and challenges that South Africa has faced regarding the coronavirus pandemic.