© Reuters. COVID-19 Vaccines in St Albans
LONDON (Reuters) – A fall COVID-19 booster and then annual vaccinations are highly likely, Britain’s vaccine deployment minister said on Sunday as countries compete to give injections to new variants. Britain has already provided nearly 11.5 million first doses of COVID-19 vaccines and is on track to meet the goal of vaccinating all people from the most vulnerable groups by mid-February. Among the variants of the coronavirus currently of most concern to scientists and public health experts are the so-called British, South African and Brazilian variants, which appear to be spreading more rapidly than others. “It is very likely that we will see an annual (vaccination) or annual booster and then an annual (vaccination), like we do with flu vaccines, where you look at which variant of the virus is spreading around the world,” said Nadhim Zahawi to the BBC. Andrew Marr Show. AstraZeneca (NASDAQ 🙂 said Saturday that its vaccine developed with the University of Oxford appeared to offer only limited protection against the mild illness caused by the South African variant of COVID-19, according to early data from a trial. The successful launch of the vaccine in the UK is sparking debate about how soon the government can ease broader closure restrictions, amid plans to reopen schools in England in March.