Even as soon as the clinical trials were over, the public was informed that some COVID-19 vaccines proved to be more efficient than others. Luckily, the world now has plenty of vaccines against the pandemic virus, but new research shows that the drug developed by AstraZeneca is less efficient when it comes to a specific strain of COVID-19.
Sky News writes about the South Africa variant (E484K) of COVID-19 having stronger resistance against the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, as a new study reveals. But still, there’s is some good news on the matter.
AstraZeneca works to adapt the vaccine for the COVID-19 mutation
According to the officials, the updates for the vaccine will be ready by autumn. But there are other important aspects we must take into account, as an AstraZeneca spokesman revealed:
Early data has shown limited efficacy against mild disease primarily due to the B.1.351 South African variant.
He also added:
We do believe our vaccine could protect against severe disease, as neutralising 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.
However, we must not open the champagne just yet, as more studies are required. Researchers investigated 2,000 people to get to the new conclusion, and most of them were healthy adults with an average age of 31 years old. Since COVID-19 causes more severe illness in elders, researchers have to investigate more how the vaccine works for those people who are infected with the South African strain.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi adds other good news for Sky News, saying that scientists from the UK will be able to sequence the genomes of the virus’ mutations very quickly. He also reminded that it’s normal for the coronavirus to mutate and make efforts to survive as long as people get vaccinated.
According to BBC, over 12 million people from the UK were vaccinated for COVID-19 with at least the first required dose.