According to a newspaper report, the vaccine developed by the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca apparently does not offer comprehensive protection against the B.1.351 coronavirus mutation, which was first discovered in South Africa and recently spread strongly in Tyrol.
The drug does not protect against mild and moderate illnesses caused by this viral variant, reports the Financial Times, citing a study to be published at the beginning of the week.
The AstaZeneca vaccine plays a key role in Austria’s vaccination schedule. A first shipment of 36,000 doses arrived in Austria yesterday night, and 700,000 doses are expected by the end of March.
Protection against “serious diseases
In light of studies that do not suggest complete protection against Corona disease, AstraZeneca insists that the vaccine provides 100 percent protection against “severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths.”
Proponents of the vaccine emphasize that it is easier to administer than mRNA vaccines and also costs much less. The Astrazeneca vaccine, on the other hand, has been criticized for a lack of data on efficacy in the most vulnerable group, the over-65s.
There have also been differences of opinion over the fulfillment of supply contracts with the European Union, which had financed the development of the vaccine with large upfront payments.
- source: ft.com and orf.at/picture: swr.de
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