Swedish-British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has started testing a modified version of its corona vaccine. The new version was developed to address the beta variant that first appeared in South Africa.
A total of 2,250 participants take part in the test. These are people from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil and Poland. Among them are both test subjects who have already been vaccinated and people who have not yet received a corona jab.
Some of them already got AstraZeneca, others Pfizer or Moderna. Although the subjects who have not yet been vaccinated will receive two doses (four or twelve weeks apart), the new vaccine is likely to be used as a “booster vaccine” in the future.
The new vaccine was developed to fight against the beta variant of the coronavirus. Because the so-called spike protein looks slightly different in that variant – and some other mutations – some vaccines are less efficient against it.
The first test results are expected later this year, AstraZeneca reports in a press release.