To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of covid-19 vaccines on the mutated second covid strain.
10 March 2021
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is effective against the COVID-19 variants that are dominant in the United Kingdom. There are 147 confirmed and probable cases of the South African variant in the UK, which is a small proportion of total cases. So far, we understand this vaccine should be effective against severe disease and death for other variants. We continue to consider a range of evidence and advice, with research and evaluation ongoing.
On 5 February, we announced a new vaccines partnership with CureVac, which will enable us to respond rapidly to develop additional vaccines for COVID-19 variants if needed. The UK has placed an initial order for 50 million doses of new vaccines that can protect against these variants, which will be delivered later this year if they are required. This is in addition to the broader portfolio of 407 million doses we have already secured to date.