Public Can Have Confidence In Uk’s Vaccines, Nadhim Zahawi Says

The public can have confidence in the UK’s Covid vaccines, despite concerns about the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab’s effectiveness against the South Africa variant, the vaccines minister says.

Early trials suggest the jab offers “minimal protection” against mild disease from the South Africa variant.

But Nadhim Zahawi said the vaccines being used appeared to work well against dominant variants in the UK.

South Africa has put its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on hold.

Its government is waiting for further advice on how best to proceed in light of the preliminary findings from a study suggesting the jab offered limited protection against mild and moderate disease from the variant first discovered in South Africa.

Scientists say the strain – also known as 501.V2 or B.1.351 – accounts for 90% of new coronavirus cases in the country.

More than 100 cases of the South Africa variant have been found in the UK, but the version of the virus first discovered in Kent is the dominant strain.

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