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South Africa stopped the distribution of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine on Sunday, after researchers found that the vaccine “provides minimal protection” against infection from the new strain first identified in the country, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: A halted vaccine rollout is a huge setback for South Africa as it struggles to curb the spread of the virus and its variant and the country approaches 50,000 deaths.

The variant has concerned experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, since preliminary findings suggest the strain could interfere with monoclonal antibodies. 1 million doses arrived in the country last week, according to the New York Times. What they found: Researchers from Oxford and the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa found that AztraZeneca’s vaccine “provides minimal protection” against infection from the new variant, Oxford said in a press release on Sunday. The analysis of roughly 2,000 adults not yet been peer-reviewed.

What to watch: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in an online briefing that the government would not proceed until scientists advised them on the best next steps, per Reuters.