Shabir Madhi, professor of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand told the BBC’s Today Programme that the AstraZeneca vaccine fell well short of the desired 60 percent efficacy against the South African variant. The trial tested whether the Oxford vaccine would give protection against “all severity” of COVID-19 infection including mild infections.
Professor Madhi was asked regarding the trial: “What firm knowledge can you get from it?”
He replied: “It is not just about the number of participants in the study it is about how the study is designed to answer a specific question.
“The design of this study gave us sufficient confidence to determine whether the vaccine would be 60 percent or more against all severity of COVID-19.
“So that is independent of the sample size, we are required to get a certain number of individuals that have developed COVID-19 to provide us sufficient power to determine whether this vaccine has at least 60 percent or greater efficacy.
“So the result that we describe against the variant is 10 percent, which is clearly far off the 60 percent mark.”
He added: “What the study tells us is that in a relatively young demographic the vaccine does not protect against mild to moderate infection.”
More to follow…