AstraZeneca said on Sunday it began new trials to test the first COVID-19 variant vaccine (AZD2816) against the beta variant, which first emerged in South Africa.
The trial will recruit about 2,250 participants across UK, South Africa, Brazil and Poland, AstraZeneca informed.
This group includes people who have been completely immunized with two shots of the original Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine or an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer‘s, as well as those who have not got the jab at all.
“Testing booster doses of existing vaccines and new variant vaccines is important to ensure we are best prepared to stay ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, should their use be needed,” said Professor Andrew J Pollard, chief investigator and director of the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford.
Initial data from the trial is expected later this year and, once available, will be submitted to regulators for assessment.