The government has shelved plans to launch an implementation study of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, which could potentially have answered key questions about whether it protects people from severe disease caused by the new variant dominating transmission in SA.

The health department originally planned to launch SA’s coronavirus vaccine rollout with AstraZeneca’s shot but changed its plans at the 11th hour after evidence emerged that the jab offered minimal protection against mild to moderate disease caused by the 501Y.V2 variant...

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