Prof Andy Pollard, from Oxford University , said they were already getting to tweak the vaccine. He said it had been a comparatively quick process – and would only need small trials to be done before roll-out.
There is still strong evidence existing vaccines work well against the mutations that have emerged. Although their overall effectiveness could also be weakened a touch .
The comments came after results released by the team showed the primary evidence the vaccine can reduce the probabilities of individuals catching and spending on the virus, which has always been uncertain.The data, which has not yet been published or reviewed, showed vaccination with the Oxford-AZ jab could cut transmission by up to 67%.
This means the vaccine could significantly slow the spread of the virus, potentially allowing restrictions to be lifted more quickly. Previous studies have already shown the vaccine is sweet at preventing serious illness and death from Covid-19 in those given the jab. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the results were “absolutely superb” and showed vaccines are “the answer of this pandemic”.
But he said the “on-going challenge” would be for vaccine manufacturers to stay up with what the virus is doing. There is most concern about the South African variant, which shows signs of having the ability to flee a number of the protective effect of the vaccines. There are already signs this has begun circulating in some parts of the united kingdom , prompting surge testing to be introduced into parts of London, Surrey, Kent, Hertfordshire and Southport.
The mutation – called E484K – has also been detected in a number of the infections caused by UK strains that are circulating in parts of Bristol and Liverpool. Prof Pollard said his team were already watching updating the vaccine to form it simpler against the mutations that are being seen. “I think the actual work on designing a replacement vaccine is extremely , very quick because it’s essentially just switching out the genetic sequence for the spike protein.
“And then there’s manufacturing to try to to then alittle scale study. So all of which will be completed during a very short period of your time , and therefore the autumn is basically the timing for having new vaccines available to be used ,” he said. Sir Mene Pangalos, executive vice chairman of biopharmaceuticals research and development at AstraZeneca, added: “Our ambition is to be ready for subsequent round of immunisations which will be necessary as we go into next winter. That’s what we’re aiming for.”
He added the manufacturing process would even be easier as plants would be fully up to hurry by then. The trials that might got to be run are only likely to involve a couple of hundred people because the team would only got to check safety which a good immune reaction is generated by completing blood tests.
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