Oxford jab gives less protection for Covid variant
- 08 February 2021
Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine offers "minimal protection" against mild disease from the South Africa variant, scientists say early trials suggest, APA reports citing BBC.
A new study, not yet peer reviewed, involved about 2,000 people who were on average 31 years old.
But Prof Sarah Gilbert, Oxford lead vaccine developer, said vaccines should still protect against severe disease.
She said developers were likely to have a modified Oxford jab by the autumn to combat the South Africa variant.
South Africa has said it is putting its rollout of the Oxford vaccine on temporary hold, while scientists advise on the best way to proceed following the results of the study.
The variant, also known as 501.V2 or B.1.351, is already the dominant virus variant in large parts of South Africa.
Earlier, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi told the BBC's Andrew Marr that a booster in the autumn and annual vaccines could be required to combat variants.
More than 100 cases of the South Africa variant have been found in the UK.