AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine will offer strong protection against both the Brazilian and South African coronavirus variants, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
CEO Pascal Soriot said new data weakened the result of a South African study which found the vaccine had only 10% efficacy against the local variant.
"We have several vaccines that protect well against severe disease for all viruses," Soriot said, adding "but out of an abundance of caution, we are developing a South African variant vaccine, and people might get a booster in the northern hemisphere autumn if necessary."
New unpublished data showed the vaccine was also effective against the Brazilian variant, he said.
Soriot noted that all vaccines, including from AstraZeneca and Pfizer, had lower efficacy in young people, because the vaccines were less effective in preventing milder disease.
"And so what you see in these studies is 100% protection against severe disease, but there was also no severe disease in the control arm, because they were all young," he said, adding that "in the South African study, I think it's more a reflection of the type of patients than on the vaccine itself."
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