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Why UK turned its back on AstraZeneca: 3 reasons Covid booster jab won’t be made by Oxford | UK | News

The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed on the University of Oxford, supplied the NHS with much-needed jab doses when vaccines had been scarce, and nations had been combating to accumulate restricted provides. The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, also referred to as the Oxford jab, won’t be used for the winter booster rollout, nevertheless.

To “keep the lid” on the virus over the winter, the Prime Minister unveiled in a Downing Street press conference on September 14, his COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan.

Under the plan, a booster vaccine programme will be rolled out to 30 million people.

From next week, booster jabs will be offered to the most vulnerable.

Care home residents, the over 70s, frontline health workers, and adults deemed clinically extremely vulnerable will be given a third vaccine dose.

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The Cov-Boost study also reviewed the safety and efficacy of vaccines produced by AstraZeneca, Novavax, Valneva, Janssen, and Curevac.

None of these have been recommended for the UK’s booster programme by the JCVI.

So if the Government takes the advice of the JCVI, the AstraZeneca vaccine will not be used in the booster programme.

The head of AstraZeneca isn’t keen

The head of AstraZeneca has said rolling out third doses too quickly would be an “unnecessary burden” on the NHS.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot has said the Government should be patient before committing to a booster programme.

He said the UK was “a few weeks away” from having a definitive answer on how effective just two doses of the vaccine were in providing “continued, protective immunity”.

He warned that moving too quickly would deprive scientists of data on how well the vaccines work.

The AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t use mRNA technologies

One of the reasons the JCVI has recommended the use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines above others is because they use mRNA technologies.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, chair of COVID-19 Immunisation for the JCVI said mRNA technologies provided “a very good immune boost” in recent studies.

Also, there appears to be more scientific evidence available about the long-term efficacy of mRNA vaccines over other jabs.

But the use of AstraZeneca in the booster scheme hasn’t been ruled out completely.

Professor Wei Shen Lim said the JCVI will “keep our options open”.


But he added: “I don’t think I can say very much about future booster programmes because we just don’t have the data, we don’t know what might happen.

“I think we need to keep our options open – I wouldn’t want to exclude any options at this moment.”

A source close to AstraZeneca said the company was finalising data on the durability of protection offered by its Covid vaccine, according to the i.

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