Scary 22% vaccine efficacy in South Africa comes with heaps of caveats

Vials in front of the AstraZeneca British biopharmaceutical company logo are seen in this creative photo taken on 18 November 2020.

Enlarge / Vials in entrance of the AstraZeneca British biopharmaceutical firm brand are seen on this artistic photograph taken on 18 November 2020. (credit score: Getty| NurPhoto)

Dismal preliminary knowledge on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa—the place the B.1.351/ 501Y.V2 coronavirus variant is spreading broadly—lead the federal government there to rethink its vaccination rollout and raised additional worldwide concern concerning the variant.

However the small examine has so many limitations and caveats, consultants warning that drawing any conclusions from it’s tough.

The examine, which has not been revealed or peer-reviewed however introduced in a press convention Sunday, started in June and enrolled solely round 2,000 contributors, about half of which acquired a placebo. Early within the examine—earlier than B.1.351 emerged—the vaccine appeared over 70 % efficient at stopping mild-to-moderate circumstances of COVID-19. That’s largely in keeping with the conclusion of a world Section III trial launched by AstraZeneca and vaccine co-developer Oxford College, which confirmed combined outcomes for the replication-deficient adenovirus-based vaccine however an general efficacy of round 70 %.

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