August 11, 2022


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Two new Covid vaccines have less efficacy against South African strain


The new Covid vaccines

Early data from two new coronavirus vaccine trials has indicated that they have less efficacy at protecting from the South African variant of coronavirus.

Clinical trial data showed that the vaccines from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson had significantly less efficacy at preventing coronavirus in trial participants in South Africa, where the new variant is widespread, compared with countries where the variant is less common.

Novavax reported that results from mid-stage trials on Thursday showed its vaccine had 50% efficacy overall in preventing Covid-19 among people in South Africa. In late-stage results from the UK, the vaccine had up to 89.3% efficacy.

On Friday, Johnson & Johnson said a single shot of its vaccine had 66% efficacy, judging by a large-scale trial which spanned three continents. In the US, which recorded its first cases of the South African variant this week, the vaccine’s efficacy reached 72%, but it was just 57% in South Africa, where the new variants constituted 95% of the coronavirus cases in the trial.

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