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South Africa puts AstraZeneca vaccinations on hold over variant data

South Africa will put on hold use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot in its vaccination programme after data showed it gave minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the country’s dominant coronavirus variant.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday that the government would await advice from scientists on how best to proceed after a trial showed the AstraZeneca vaccine did not significantly reduce the risk of mild or moderate Covid-19 from the 501Y.V2 variant that caused a second wave of infections starting late last year...

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