Study shows Oxford/AstraZeneca jab less effective against South African mutation

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Research has found the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offers only limited protection against mild disease caused by the South African variant of coronavirus.

But the British company said early data from the study, due to be published on Monday, has shown the jab can protect against severe disease caused by the mutation.

The study, first reported by the Financial Times, into the E484K mutation involved some 2,000 people, most of whom were young and healthy.

“We do believe our vaccine could protect against severe disease, as neutralising antibody activity is equivalent to that of other Covid-19 vaccines that have demonstrated activity against more severe disease, particularly when the dosing interval is optimised to eight to 12 weeks,” a spokesman reportedly said.

(PA Graphics)

It comes after research released on Friday indicated that the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is effective at fighting the new UK coronavirus variant.

Andrew Pollard, professor of paediatric infection and immunity, and chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said: “Data from our trials of the ChAdOx1 vaccine in the United Kingdom indicate that the vaccine not only protects against the original pandemic virus, but also protects against the novel variant, B117, which caused the surge in disease from the end of 2020 across the UK.”

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