UK coronavirus LIVE: Brits could face third AstraZeneca vaccine amid South African Covid variant fears

Luke O’ReillyMon, 8 February 2021, 6:59 am

Derek Fraser from Edinburgh receives an injection of a coronavirus vaccine from military doctor Captain Robert Reid  (PA)
Derek Fraser from Edinburgh receives an injection of a coronavirus vaccine from military doctor Captain Robert Reid (PA)

Britons could be required to have a third “booster” vaccine this year after a major study found the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was less effective against the South African coronavirus variant.

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.

It comes as South Africa announced it had suspended the rollout of the British-designed vaccine to healthcare staff following the results, which have yet to be peer reviewed.

The number of people in the UK who have received a first dose of a vaccine passed the 12 million mark, with jabs administered at a rate of almost 1,000 per minute during a one hour period over the weekend.