The Latest: Vaccines and Variants

More evidence is rolling in that COVID-19 variants can challenge the protective power of vaccines.

Breaking News: Johnson & Johnson reported this morning that its single-dose vaccine has 66% efficacy “at preventing moderate to severe disease 28 days after vaccination,”  STAT reported. The J&J vaccine had just 57% efficacy in South Africa, where a new variant has emerged.  

More News: The Novavax vaccine was found to have almost 90% efficacyagainst the virus in a UK clinical trial—but in a separate trial showed only 49% efficacy against the South Africa variant, STAT also reports.

In the EU: Regulators are expected to greenlight a third COVID-19 vaccine today, from AstraZeneca—but may hold off on recommending it for over-65s because of insufficient data on older adults, AP reports.

Variant in the U.S.: South Carolina has detected the first US cases of the South Africa variant—in 2 patients who had no contact with one another and no known travel history, CIDRAP reports.

In response to globe-circulating variants, the CDC is advising Americans to avoid travel, And as of January 26, it requires all incoming air passengers to provide proof of a negative test or documentation of recovery.

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