Oxford Study Shows AstraZeneca Shot Works Against Brazil Strain

Oxford Study Shows AstraZeneca Shot Works Against Brazil Strain

"Our team is providing enhanced follow-up and increased vigilance to do our best to avoid a variant of concern from entering high priority settings like congregate living, health care settings, schools, or large essential workplaces", Medical Officer of Health Dr. Joyce Lock said in a statement.

Officials have since tracked down two people in the same household in Gloucester, one of whom has returned from Brazil in February, and a further three in Scotland.

South Africa variant: There have been 68 cases of a variant first seen in South Africa, called B.1.351, in 16 states and Washington, DC.

Scientists say variants continuing to appear may be of concern but is not unexpected.

Earlier this week, Mr Hancock said the UK's current vaccines had not yet been tested against this variant.

Speaking in the Lords, he said the country "must be on the balls of its feet" to be ready for such "unhelpful news".

EU, Italy halt AstraZeneca vaccine shipment to Australia
However, it said the supply issue was due to the delay of expected deliveries of AstraZeneca vaccines last week and this week. Italy and the European Commission have blocked a shipment of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine destined for Australia .

Surge testing began in south Gloucestershire on Monday where cases of the Manaus variant of coronavirus were discovered.

The two foreign nationals who arrived from Dubai tested positive for a highly transmissible Covid-19 variant reported to evade the immune system.

Elsewhere, additional testing in targeted parts of London and Stockton-on-Tees, in County Durham, aims to suppress the spread of the South African variant of concern, which was first sequenced in the United Kingdom in December 2020.

"We've successfully identified the person in question", health minister Matt Hancock told a news conference on Friday.

A study this week suggested that between 25% and 61% of people in Manaus who had previously had COVID-19 were susceptible to reinfection with the concerning P1 variant.

Six new deaths were reported today, increasing the overall Covid-19 death toll to 1,159.

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