Foreign Health News

South Africa Halts AstraZeneca vaccine Over New Covid Variant

Geoff Holland, 90, and Jenny Holland, 86, receive their injections of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a former Wickes store which is being used as a covid vaccination centre in Mansfield, Britain January 25, 2021. The couple, who met in a sheltered housing complex, were due to get married last April but had to postpone their wedding twice due to lockdown restrictions. They eventually held their ceremony in August. Joe Giddens/Pool via REUTERS
Written by fadila yunusa

South Africa Puts its rollout of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on hold after a study showed “disappointing” results against its new Covid variant.

Scientists say the variant accounts for 90% of new Covid cases in South Africa.

The trial, involving some 2,000 people, found that the vaccine offered “minimal protection” against mild and moderate cases.

But experts are hopeful that the vaccine will still be effective at preventing severe cases.

The country has recorded almost 1.5 million coronavirus cases and more than 46,000 deaths since the pandemic began – a higher toll than any other country on the continent.

The country has received one million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab and was preparing to start vaccinating people.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said his government would wait for further advice on how best to proceed with the AstraZeneca vaccine in light of the findings.