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As ever, good news and bad news in the same report

The usual great reporting in Stat: A Covid-19 vaccine from Novavax proved nearly 90% effective in preliminary results on 15,000-volunteers in a clinical trial in the UK, including those cases from the virus variant circulating widely in the UK.

That’s the good news.

The bad news?

In a 4,400-volunteer study in South Africa, the vaccine proved only 49% effective overall, although in the 94% of study participants who were HIV negative (South Africa has a huge HIV positive population), the virus was 60% effective in preventing Covid-19.

So are these numbers good enough for this vaccine to get approval in Canada?

Probably but clearly a great deal of how much of a difference this vaccine will make ultimately will depend on whether the South African variant, which has been detected in Canada, starts to take off in Canada before we can immunize enough Canadians.

We shall see.

But the sooner we get it out there, the more likely it is to prove useful.