Coronavirus live: Canada authorises Pfizer jab for 12-15 year olds; hopes for normality in Ireland by late summer

US FDA expected to follow Canada’s lead ‘very soon’; Leo Varadkar hopes for return to normality in Ireland by late summer; Kenya finds cases of India variant

10.36pm BST

Novavax Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine had efficacy of 43% against infections caused by the South African variant in a group that included people with and without HIV, and 51% in people who were HIV negative, according to a new analysis.
The post-hoc analysis was published in the New England Journal of Medicine along with full data from the company’s trial in South Africa, which included nearly 2,700 volunteers who had not been previously infected with the coronavirus. Results announced in January showed efficacy of 49.4% against symptomatic Covid-19 in the South African trial looking at a mixture of the original virus and the South African variant, and 60.1% among those who were HIV-negative, Reuters reports. The study also showed that prior infection with an earlier version of the virus did not reduce the risk of Covid-19 caused by the South African variant among people who got placebo shots. The average age of trial volunteers was 32. Most cases were mild-to-moderate. The study did not provide data on efficacy of the Novavax vaccine in preventing severe disease or hospitalization, “one of the most important factors in determining the usefulness of a vaccine,” said Dr Peter English, a retired consultant in communicable disease control and former chair of the British Medical Association’s Public Health Medicine Committee.

10.18pm BST

Guatemala took delivery of its first consignment of Russian Sputnik V vaccines, with 50,000 doses arriving despite concerns Russia could cancel the deal after the confidential vaccine contract was leaked, Reuters reports.

Guatemala’s government at the end of March acquired 16 million doses from Russia for $79.6 million. A week later, half the amount was paid and Russia offered to ship 100,000 doses in the last week of April, but the vaccines were delayed.

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