OXFORD and AstraZeneca have vowed to make a new jab effective against Covid variants by autumn
The Covid-19 vaccination developed in conjunction with Oxford University and AstraZeneca is already proving to be a worldwide success, but now the team has revealed on Wednesday, February 3, that they are busy developing an updated version of their jab which will be equally effective on the new variants of the virus, such as the South African strain.
Oxford’s Professor Andrew Pollard said that redesigning their jab would be a “short process” compared with developing the first vaccine, something which AstraZeneca’s executive vice-president, Sir Mene Pangalos, has confirmed:
“We’re very much aiming to have something ready by the autumn this year,” he said.
Professor Pollard added:
“I think the actual work on designing a new vaccine is very, very quick because it’s essentially just switching out the genetic sequence for the spike protein, so for the updated variants.
“Then there’s manufacturing to do and then a small-scale study.
“All of that can be completed in a very short period of time, and the autumn is really the timing for having new vaccines available for use rather than for having the clinical trials run.”
The welcome news comes as Health Minister Matt Hancock praised the performance of the home-grown vaccine so far as “absolutely superb” after a new study has shown that the jab may actually reduce the spread of coronavirus.
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