By Tony Winterburn • 08 February 2021 • 9:24
147 People Have Been Discovered To Be Carrying The South African COVID Variant In The UK, Say Ministers.
There are 147 cases of the South African variant of coronavirus in the UK, the government has said. Junior health minister Edward Argar revealed the figure today, Monday, during a television interview. Argar told BBC Breakfast: “It’s a very small number but it’s still something we quite rightly have got to keep a very close eye on.”
Alarms were raised on Friday as the public were alerted to at a report from the Financial Times which, according to the data collected, is not effective against all stages of the disease, meaning a third dose may be necessary for full protection.
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Oxford scientists have said they are hoping to have a new Covid jab ready by the autumn, with people likely to be offered a third dose to protect against new strains of the virus. Brits may be offered a booster jab later this year amid concerns about the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine’s effectiveness against the South African coronavirus variant.
The vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, was forced to defend the vaccine after a new study in South Africa found it was not effective at preventing mild illness caused by the more infectious mutation.
South African health officials said Sunday they’re pausing the country’s rollout of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine after a study showed it offered reduced protection from the Covid-19 variant first identified there.
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