AstraZeneca and Oxford University have started new studies on the effectiveness of their modified vaccine against the beta variant of the coronavirus. It is important to prepare for changes in the coronavirus and thus to be “one step ahead of the pandemic,” said Oxford Vaccine Group director Andrew Pollar on Sunday.
Around 2250 participants from Great Britain, South Africa, Brazil and Poland are to take part in the clinical studies of phases II and III with the slightly modified booster vaccine. Some of the test subjects are said to have been vaccinated twice with the original vector virus vaccine from AstraZeneca or with one of the mRNA vaccines such as those from BioNTech and Pfizer, while others are said to have not yet received a vaccination. The first data are expected this year.
The beta mutant was first discovered in South Africa. In May, the British government began clinical studies on the effectiveness of a booster vaccination with existing Covid vaccines for the first time. Experts believe that the existing vaccines against the beta variant are less effective, even if they continue to prevent serious illnesses.
In the meantime, however, the highly contagious Delta variant, which was first discovered in India and is currently on the advance in some countries, including Great Britain, is of particular concern.