Skip to Content

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Easy to Update in Response to Variants

MONDAY, March 1, 2021 -- A COVID-19 vaccine still awaiting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval may prove to be a powerful weapon in fighting the pandemic, according to its developers.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was approved earlier this month by the World Health Organization to be used internationally and is already being distributed in a number of countries, CBS News reported. In the United States, clinical trials of the vaccine are expected to be completed in the coming weeks. Only then will an application for approval for emergency use of the vaccine be submitted to the FDA.

The vaccine's developers say their product is relatively easy to update to contend with new variants of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine's chief designer, Sarah Gilbert of Oxford University, said her team has been working for months on modifying the vaccine to fight new variants of the virus and expects that a new version will be available in the fall, CBS News reported.

Gilbert said the ability to quickly make changes to the vaccine is due to the "plug-and-play" platform used in the original vaccine. "You decide what antigen you want to use from the virus you want to make a vaccine against, exactly which version of it, and then you just slot it in and you make your vaccine," Gilbert told CBS News. She also stressed that because Oxford has its own manufacturing facility on campus, modifications can be fast-tracked.

Even before modification, Oxford scientists say that their vaccine tackled the runaway variant first discovered in the United Kingdom. Real-life preliminary data show that it kept hospitalizations down by 94 percent, even outperforming the Pfizer vaccine.

CBS News Article

© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Read this next

Response to One COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Strong in Previously Infected

FRIDAY, April 16, 2021 -- For persons with a history of previous infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the neutralizing antibody titer is...

Booster Shots a Likely Reality for COVID-19-Vaccinated Americans

FRIDAY, April 16, 2021 -- Vaccinated Americans will probably need booster shots to guard against emerging coronavirus variants in the future, a White House adviser and Pfizer said...

Hemorrhagic Stroke + COVID-19 Doubles Risk for In-Hospital Mortality

FRIDAY, April 16, 2021 -- COVID-19 ups the risk for death with hemorrhagic stroke by more than twofold, according to a study published online April 14 in PLOS ONE. Vijay M....

More News Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of in your inbox.