AstraZeneca Is Already Working On A Vaccine For The New South African Variant Of The Coronavirus.
ASTRAZENECA has announced that it is already working on a new vaccine against the South African variant of the coronavirus after it emerged that the one that is already being distributed throughout the world is less effective against this variant, particularly in cases of mild illness.
The company has stressed that there is not enough information yet on the response of its vaccine to serious cases of covid-19, hospitalizations and deaths caused by the new South African variant.
Sarah Gilbert, the director of the AstraZeneca vaccine program developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, has indicated that work is already underway to adapt the vaccine to the South African variant, which will be available “most likely” in autumn, she said.
Gilbert explained in an interview with the BBC. he said, quote: “It’s easy to adapt the technology. This year we want to show that the new version of the vaccine generates antibodies that recognize the new variant. It will be like working on the flu vaccine,” she said. The South African variant is being highly studied because it is assumed to have a much higher contagion capacity than the original.
A study outlining early trials of just 2,000 cases, first reported by the Financial Times, suggests the vaccine offered “minimal protection” against mild and moderate disease caused by the variant, the University of Oxford said.
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