Virus Variant from South Africa Detected in USA for 1st Time

Virus Variant from South Africa Detected in USA for 1st Time

The highly transmissible COVID-19 strain has also been identified in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia.

On Thursday, the USA state of SC has reported two cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa indicating that the new, more transmissible variant, has reached the United States.

The first interim analysis is based on 62 cases, of which 56 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the placebo group versus 6 cases observed in the NVX-CoV2373 group, resulting in a point estimate of vaccine efficacy of 89.3 per cent.

Viruses mutate constantly, and many variants of the coronavirus are circulating around the globe, but scientists are primarily concerned with three that appear to spread more easily. Results from a smaller Novavax study in that country suggests the vaccine does work but not almost as well as it does against the variant from Britain.

Some tests suggest the South African and Brazilian variants may be less susceptible to antibody drugs or antibody-rich blood from COVID-19 survivors, both of which help people fight off the virus. Among the HIV-negative volunteers, the vaccine appears 60 per cent effective. Including volunteers with HIV, overall the protection was 49%, the company said.

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Public health officials in the state say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified them late Wednesday that a sample tested at LabCorp was determined to be the B.1.351 variant originally identified in South Africa.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

He said more variants of COVID-19 should be expected, but that there was no need for panic.

The preliminary findings may help Novavax win authorization for its vaccine in Britain but the US government is funding a far larger study that's still recruiting volunteers.

The coronavirus vaccine developed by the USA company Novavax has demonstrated 89.3 per cent efficacy during the phase 3 trials conducted in the United Kingdom, the company said in a statement. Scientists extract and purify the protein and then mix in an immune-boosting chemical.

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