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Too soon to give up on the AstraZeneca vaccine

A very widely-publicized but not-yet-published study from South Africa that came out on the weekend claims that the Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine is ineffective in preventing mild-to-moderate illness from a new COVID-19 variant that is dominant in South Africa and which has been detected in Canada.

What this study of 2000 relatively-young adults couldn’t do, however, is tell us if the AZ vaccine prevents serious illness or death, or what it does for elderly people.

And surely, those are very important measures of the value of a coronavirus vaccine.

My instinct tells me that the AZ vaccine will still be a very useful vaccine for Canadians, especially since we’ve been so slow to vaccinate enough people to slow the march of this virus.