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Bill Gates says J&J and Novavax Covid vaccines have ‘a lot of capability’ against variants

February 18, 2021


Bill Gates told CNBC that Johnson & Johnson’s and Novavax’s vaccines will still be essential tools against new, emerging variants of the coronavirus — even though the companies have said their shots may be less potent against a strain found in South Africa.

Novavax said on Jan. 28 that its vaccine was nearly 90% effective in protecting against Covid-19 in its phase three trial conducted in the U.K. but had a muted response in South Africa, with an efficacy rate of just 49.4% among 44 cases in the country. A day later, J&J said its vaccine was 66% effective overall, but just 57% effective in South Africa, where strain B.1.351 is rapidly spreading.

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