Last night, it was revealed that the British vaccine for the protection of the newly super-mutant Covid strain has been in its final stages.
In the coming days, the Oxford/AstraZeneca team will release the results of the test on the new formula.
If it proves to be effective, it may be ready for immediate use within weeks.
The news was delivered by immunologist Professor Sir John Bell, a member of the government’s vaccine task force, who also revealed it was too late to stop ‘the monster’ variant currently ripping through Southern Africa from reaching our shores.
Despite the Government’s travel ban, Sir John said it was only ‘a matter of time’ before it surfaced here.
He said that if these things happen, modified vaccines may be required to replace them.
But, Britain had the advantage of being able to switch fast thanks to pioneering work by the Oxford AstraZeneca Team.
It was announced last night that a British vaccine which could offer strong protection against the super-mutant Covid strain has entered the final stages of trial. In the coming days, the Oxford/AstraZeneca team will release the results of their test on the new formula (pictured).
The latest AZ-based formula was created originally to counter the South African Covid strain. It threatened to spread throughout the continent last year, but it was eventually overtaken in the Delta strain.
If needed, it could be ‘plugged in’ to modify the currently-used AZ vaccine with relative ease and be administered through booster shots.
Since the surge in B11529’s popularity began just a few days back, Sir John and Oxford University colleagues have closely monitored it. It has about 30 mutations.
A more thorough analysis using virus samples flown from South Africa to Britain in canisters will begin next week.
Scientists want to know more about this virus to understand its spreading potential and ability to cause severe illness.
Immunologist Professor Sir John Bell, a member of the government’s vaccine task force, said it was too late to stop ‘the monster’ variant currently ripping through Southern Africa from reaching our shores, but added that a vaccine developed by the Oxford/AstraZeneca team could provide strong protection against it
Although it appears to have infected many South Africans with the virus and is transmitting rapidly, there are early indications that this strain may not be as dangerous as other strains.
‘The big question is, are people getting really sick? Do the hospitals have enough beds? The answer to that is “No”.
“Some of my coworkers have called.” [the new variant]It’s a beast. There’s a lot of panic.
‘We should just stay calm. You need to be calm as if the thing will create new infections. If it doesn’t, then fine. If it does, we need to be ready.’