AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine has similar efficacy against the UK variant of coronavirus as it does against the variants previously in circulation, the university said on Friday.
The variant first identified in Kent, southern England, is more easily transferable, causing many countries to restrict travel to the UK. It also led to a surge in infections, which forced a new national lockdown in England last month.
This lockdown came when the UK started rolling out the AstraZeneca vaccine. Over 10 million people have received a first dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer’s shot.
The UK had said it believed the vaccines would be effective against variants that are circulating in the UK.
“Data from our trials of the ChAdOx1 vaccine in the UK show that the vaccine not only protects against the original pandemic virus, but also against the novel variant B.1.1.7, which caused the increase in the disease across the board from the end of 2020 UK, “said Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the vaccine study at Oxford.
Sarah Gilbert, co-developer of the vaccine, said that while the vaccine is effective against the British variant, it may need to be adapted for a future variant.
“We are working with AstraZeneca to optimize the pipeline that will be required for an expansion change if it becomes necessary,” said Gilbert.
The results, published in a preprint paper and not peer-reviewed, also included detailed up-to-date analyzes showing that vaccination with the shot results in a reduction in the duration of shedding and viral load, resulting in decreased transmission of the Illness at Oxford University can cause said.
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