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AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Vaccinations Delayed in South Africa

February 7, 2021 • 2:28 pm CST
(Precision Vaccinations)

According to WSJ reporting on February 7, 2021, South Africa’s health minister Zweli Mkhize announced the country would temporarily halt a planned rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine until there was more information on the vaccine’s efficacy. South Africa had planned to administer one million doses of the vaccine.

In human trials and tests on the blood of those vaccinated, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine showed significantly reduced efficacy against the 501Y.V2 viral variant, which is dominant in South Africa, according to the randomized, double-blind study seen by the Financial Times.

On February 1, 2021, an analysis of the Phase III clinical trials from the UK, Brazil, and South Africa, published as a preprint in The Lancet, confirmed the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca was safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, with no severe cases and no hospitalizations, more than 22 days after the first dose. The primary analysis for efficacy was based on 17,177 participants accruing 332 symptomatic cases from the Phase III UK (COV002), Brazil (COV003), and South Africa (COV005) trials led by the vaccine's co-developers, Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca's vaccine is authorized in the UK, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, India, Bhutan, Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Seychelles, and various EU countries.