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Concerns raised in South Africa over effectiveness of new COVID-19 vaccine

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Deep concerns have been raised in South Africa over the latest trial of the Novavax vaccine as it proved effective in only 49.4% of cases overall.

The concern was raised on Friday by Prof Karim – the most authoritative voice on the pandemic in South Africa who warned that more mutations were inevitable, and the scientific community needed to work harder to get ahead of the virus.

He said the success rate was “deeply concerning” adding that the vaccines can and will be tweaked to make them more effective against COVID-19 mutations.

Karim said; “It points to the next big scientific challenge – developing new generation vaccines with greater neutralisation breadth to get ahead of the inevitability of yet more future immune-escape coronavirus variants across the world.”

READ ALSO: No sign South Africa COVID-19 variant can resist vaccine –WHO

The prominent scientist who said that the Novavax vaccine had nearly 90% success rate in the UK, but only 49.4% efficacy in a smaller test in South Africa, also warned that some countries could be left behind in terms of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

“This risks the creation of ‘two worlds’ – where some countries or regions will be able to achieve viral control through herd immunity while others with variants… may not be able to reach herd immunity levels through vaccine protection,” Karim who heads South Africa’s COVID-19 advisory panel said.

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