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Coronavirus: What does the AstraZeneca study reveal about protection against transmissions


Chaotic approval studies, discussions about vaccination privileges - and the latest from research: our Corona weekly overview.

Timo Lenzen / DER SPIEGEL

Dear readers,

The corona vaccine from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford could not only protect against the disease Covid-19, but also reduce the risk of infections with Sars-CoV-2 by 67 percent.

The news recently caused an uproar, because it is unclear to what extent the various vaccines prevent infection and thus the spread of the virus.

This also plays a role in the debate about privileges for vaccinated people.

Anyone who knows AstraZeneca's vaccination studies, some of which have not yet been tested, got a loud sigh from the excitement on Wednesday.

Because the manufacturer's data is, unfortunately, to put it this way, quite a mess.

It is clear from this that the vaccine offers good protection against Covid-19 and that no safety problems have arisen - much more can hardly be read so far.

In some cases, results from subgroups are added together in the evaluations that do not match because test subjects received different vaccination doses.

Some subgroups are also so small that statistically no valid statements can be made - or they differ significantly from the rest of the rest of the study population.

The information on effectiveness against Sars-CoV-2 infections of 67 percent is based, for example, on people who only received one dose of vaccine, were younger, more female and whiter, and who worked more often in the medical or social field than other study participants.

If you simply take the data from the largest and most meaningful partial analysis, in which test subjects received two full doses of vaccine, things look different.

The vaccination could reduce the risk of Sars-CoV-2 infection by 38 to 60 percent.

In other words: you just don't know exactly yet.

AstraZeneca isn't the only vaccine developer whose vaccine data is currently raising eyebrows.

New information on the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine also aroused criticism this week (read more here).

»Inside Wirecard: Secret chats, absurd deals.

And a top manager unpacks, ”is the title of the new SPIEGEL.

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During a distribution campaign for corona test kits in Great Britain, a man in a clown mask opens the door

Photo: Hannah Mckay / REUTERS

The vaccine questions

New data: how safely does the AstraZeneca vaccine protect against infections?

New data from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford give hope that their vaccine will not only prevent serious disease progression, but also slow down the rate of infection.

However, there are still questions unanswered.

Increased delivery plans: Vaccine for 50 million by the end of June

A vaccination offer for everyone by the summer?

Thanks to additional deliveries from the manufacturers, it could actually work.

If all doses arrive as planned, there would be vaccine for 50 million people in Germany by the end of June.

Sputnik V, Sinovac, Sinopharm: How safe are the corona vaccines from Russia and China?

They did not go through the clinical studies customary in the West.

Sputnik V, Sinovac and Sinopharm are already available worldwide.

Now a WHO team wants to find out what the funds are all about.

Unfair vaccine distribution endangers world health: the greed of the West could take revenge

A global initiative wanted to provide poor countries with vaccines fairly, but the project threatens to fail.

Covid-19 in worldwide numbers

  • Confirmed Cases: 104,935,668

  • Deaths: 2,286,170

  • Recovered from the disease: 58,378,140

  • Germany: 2,264,909 confirmed infections, 1,991,000 recovered (estimated), 60,597 deaths

Sources: CSSE / Johns Hopkins University as of February 5, 2021, 11:23 a.m.

Robert Koch Institute, as of February 5, 2021, 12:00 a.m.

Research news

Second Corona wave in Brazil: The mystery of the disappeared herd immunity

In the Brazilian Manaus, according to a study, 76 percent of the population are already infected with Sars-CoV-2.

Nevertheless, the city is experiencing a violent second wave.

How can that be - and what does it mean?

Corona: vaccine from Johnson & Johnson 66 percent effective

According to initial study results, the vaccine from pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson can apparently prevent Covid 19 disease in 66 percent of cases.

But the group is worried about mutations.

Coronavirus: British researchers discover combi mutant

The first cases of the British corona variant have occurred in Great Britain, which also carry a genetic modification of the virus line from South Africa.

Experts worry about the effectiveness of existing vaccines.

Expert survey on Corona: "The fight for human life is worth it"



experts from virology and medicine rate the Corona measures?

What do you think of the reporting, the vaccination, the measures?

A survey shows a complex picture of opinions.

Corona pandemic: infected despite vaccination - how does it work?

In Bayreuth, corona tests were positive for hospital staff.

Those affected had been vaccinated shortly beforehand.

Data from Israel explain the phenomenon.

Interim results on Sputnik V: Russian corona vaccine shows effectiveness of 91.6 percent

Russia allowed a corona vaccine six months ago - without trustworthy data.

Now a study has been independently checked: Sputnik V shows convincing effectiveness.

The threat posed by refugee mutants: The fight between humans and viruses reaches a new stage

Can we defeat the pandemic with vaccinations?

Scientists warn: Increasing immunity is forcing the coronavirus to change - the number of so-called flight mutants like in South Africa could increase.

What else was important

New regulation: now the corona rapid tests for at home are coming

Since Wednesday, corona rapid tests for domestic use have been allowed in Germany.

When can you buy them?

And what role could the self-tests play in the pandemic?

An overview.

RKI on the coronavirus: "All three variants have arrived in Germany"

An initial evaluation shows: The British coronavirus variant has been detected in 13 federal states and makes up almost six percent of the Sars-CoV-2 viruses in circulation, says RKI boss Lothar Wieler .

Covid-19 Outbreaks: Why It's So Difficult to Protect People in

Homes The pandemic has lasted for almost a year, and retirement and nursing homes are still hotspots.

Why it's almost impossible to make them safer, even if everyone obeys the rules.

Corona pandemic: Ethics Council speaks out against special rights for vaccinated people

As long as it is not clear whether vaccinated people can pass on the

corona virus

, according to the Ethics Council, no special rules are conceivable.

But there should be an exception.

Ongoing studies: Ema is checking approval of antibody drug against Corona

Donald Trump was treated with so-called monoclonal antibodies - apparently successfully.

Now the European Medicines Agency has started to test the effectiveness of the drug.

Vaccination Commission changes recommendations: Corona convalescents should now also be vaccinated.

Until now, it was the case that anyone who survived Covid-19 no longer needs a vaccination.

Now, however, experts argue for it.


Intensive care physician is outraged by corona deniers: "We were only able to record new corona cases because so many had died"

They have been working at the limit for months, so the employees of a Nuremberg intensive care unit sound the alarm - via YouTube videos.

Senior doctor Baumgärtel on the background.

Reading for the weekend

Virologist Brinkmann warns of Corona easing: »The race is long lost.

It will come like in England «

Melanie Brinkmann complains about the hesitant action of politicians against the mutated corona virus.

The virologist calls for a consistent containment strategy to avoid a permanent shutdown.

Corona question of conscience: Please do not wear your beard!

FFP2 masks only really provide reliable protection on clean-shaven skin.

So people with beards endanger themselves and others.

Beard bearer Benjamin Maack asks himself: Do we owe society a shave?

Long-term strategy in the corona pandemic: "Wiping off people with concerns is also not a way."

Many in Germany's population would currently not be vaccinated against corona.

In addition, the lockdown will be long and weary.

The scientist Cornelia Betsch about her ideas to change both.

Corona crisis in Hamburg: How I tried to get a vaccination for my mother

Over 80-year-olds are to be vaccinated against Corona these days.

But making appointments is often frustrating.

Three daughters talk about their experiences - and why it pays not to give up.

Have a nice weekend

Yours Julia Merlot

What you need to know about the virus

We have put together all the answers to the most important questions about the coronavirus for you here.

You can find more current developments at

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-02-05

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