TWELVE million Brits may need an Autumn AstraZeneca booster jab to protect against the fearsome South African mutant strain. It comes amid reports that early data shows the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab is less effective against the highly infectious variant. A small trial of just 2,026 people found the vaccine had “limited efficacy” in protecting against mild and moderate disease caused by the mutant Covid. But AstraZeneca has vowed its scientists will now start adapting the vaccine to kill the new variant. It is hoped this will be achieved by the Autumn. Follow the live blog below for the very latest news, updates and analysis of the coronavirus crisis… Ben Hilljust nowTIP OF THE ICEBERG Lockdown could last longer if the South African Covid variant spreads, a Sage scientist today warned. Dr Mike Tildesley said “it’s very possible” the mutated strain is already widespread in the UK – as 147 cases were confirmed by the health minister. Dr Tildesley, an infectious disease expert at Warwick University, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme “surge testing” taking place in certain areas in England “really needs to be effective” to halt transmission. But he warned that “sadly we may be in a similar situation to… Read full this story
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