The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine “has similar efficacy against the B.1.1.7 ‘Kent’ coronavirus strain currently circulating in the UK to previously circulating variants,” a statement from University of Oxford published Friday read.
The university said a preprint of ongoing work to assess effectiveness of its coronavirus vaccine also described recent analysis “showing that the vaccination results in a reduction in the duration of shedding and viral load, which may translate into a reduced transmission of the disease.”
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, B.1.1.7, which caused the surge in disease from the end of 2020 across the UK.”
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology and chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said the university was working with AstraZeneca to “optimise the pipeline required for a strain change should one become necessary.”
“This is the same issue that is faced by all of the vaccine developers, and we will continue to monitor the emergence of new variants that arise in readiness for a future strain change,” she added.