“In my opinion, we need to get used to the idea of being vaccinated and then re-vaccinated in the fall — because we will be dealing with new variants of the virus,” he said during his speech in parliament.
Vaccination Minister Nadhim Zahavi also suggested in a BBC commentary that a booster dose of the vaccine would be needed in the fall and that the virus might need to be vaccinated every fall.
About 170 cases of the South African strain of the virus have already been discovered in Britain, some of which are not related to travel.
Recently, a study tentatively showed that the AstraZeneca vaccine protects only 10% of cases against the development of mild symptoms in those infected with this type of virus (E484K), although it can prevent severe illness and death.
University of Oxford professor Sarah Gilbert then said that her team had begun developing a new vaccine variant that could cope with this mutation. The vaccine will probably be ready by the fall.
At the same time, there is the first evidence that the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine is effective against the South African strain. Moderna recently announced that its vaccine works against the British and South African strains, but less effective against the latter.
Johnson & Johnson, which recently submitted the vaccine for approval in the United States, also reported the effectiveness of its drug against the African variant.