The government of South Africa has 'paused' the administering of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine because it doesn't have much effect on new variants. They are looking at other vaccines to help mitigate the cases of COVID-19 in the country.
South Africa 'stops' Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccination
South Africa has barred the usage of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab after an initial study reveals a very ''small” potency against the new coronavirus at the strain. According to medical experts, this new variant accounts for 89% of recent cases of this virus in South Africa.
This recent trial on the vaccine shows that it provides very 'soft' protection against moderate and intensive COVID-19 cases. However, experts are still positive it could be potent against severe vases in the future. South Africa has about 1.6 million COVID-19 cases, with 45,789 fatalities, and remains the highest cases in Africa.
South Africa has gotten about 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and has already perfected how to start massive vaccination. Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize told reporters that the government will see health advice on the step forward with the vaccine due to these findings.
Janssen and Pfizer expected to provide solace in the coming weeks
However, they will keep providing vaccinations using the Janssen and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in a few weeks. The trials were done by health officials at the Witwatersrand University and Oxford University, however, it hasn't passed through the review process. The expert in charge of the trial process, Professor Shabbir Mahdi stated that sadly the AstraZeneca vaccine didn't work for all cases as hoped.
He also opined that their research wasn't able to determine if the vaccines could prevent severe conditions because volunteers' age averaged at 30. Its similarities with the Janssen vaccine which has shown great promise against the new variant had raised hopes that it would be efficient. Developers of the AstraZeneca vaccine are hopeful that a modified version that will soon be available will work.