Modified AstraZeneca tailored top combat coronavirus variant
ZURICH (SWITZERLAND) – Sarah Walters, an AstraZeneca official in Austria said in an interview that a modified version of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine tailored to combat a coronavirus variant first documented in South Africa could be ready by the end of 2021.
Sarah is AstraZeneca’s Austria country manager, is of the opinion that studies, so far, indicating the existing AstraZeneca vaccine was less effective against the more infectious variant first documented in South Africa were “too small to draw final conclusions”.
“In the meantime, AstraZeneca and Oxford University have started on modifications to the vaccine for the South African variant and we expect it will be ready by the end of the year, should it be needed,” Walters told a newspaper.
Walters blamed challenges which coupled with the extremely high demand arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We had to work without keeping a supply in reserve. As a result, we couldn’t make up for unexpected events,” she said. “We are confident that we will fulfill our commitment to deliver 300 million doses to the European Union this year.”
British and European Union medicine regulators have said that the overall benefits of using the vaccine outweigh any risks of rare clotting.