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COVID-19: UK government negotiates with AstraZeneca for South African variant vaccine | UK News

The UK government has started negotiations with AstraZeneca for a “vaccine variant” capable of combating the South African variant, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

Also known as the beta variant and the B.1.351 variant, a study published in March found two doses of the current drug AstraZeneca The COVID-19 vaccine was only 10.4% effective against mild to moderate infections caused by the variant.

The strain shares similar mutations with other variants, which has raised concerns that people inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine could be exposed to multiple variants.

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People under 40 will be offered an alternative to AstraZeneca

In a speech at the University of Oxford, where the vaccine was developed, Mr Hancock said: “There is still to be done, the work is not done yet – we continue to procure all the time and planning what we need to keep this country safe, including new vaccines specifically targeted at the variants of concern.

“I can tell you today that we have entered into commercial negotiations with AstraZeneca to obtain a variant vaccine – future supplies of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine which have been adapted to control the B.1.351 variant first identified in Africa. from South.

“Once again, we are leading the way and supporting projects with potential, so that we can keep our immunization program one step ahead of the virus and protect the progress we have all made. “

AstraZeneca said any future version of its vaccine would need to be approved for use by drug regulators.

The company said: “AstraZeneca is in talks with the UK government regarding future versions of our COVID-19 vaccine to specifically treat the variants.

“We will share more details in due course.

“Any future version of the vaccine will need to be approved for use by the drug regulator.”

The South African variant …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-02 18:23:00

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