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AstraZeneca’s vaccine slightly less effective against variant found in India, CEO tells FT

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AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was only slightly less effective against the variant first found in India than the strain identified in Kent, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said in an interview with Financial Times on Friday.

He added the company is in talks with governments, including the United Kingdom, about new contracts for booster doses.

In his first interview following a string of setbacks, including the emergence of rare fatal side-effects, Pascal Soriot defended the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and offered new evidence that it could play an important role in the ongoing battle against the disease.

Soriot told the Financial Times that the jab was only slightly less effective against the variant first found in India than the strain identified in Kent and said that in animal studies a new booster had performed well against other variants. AstraZeneca is in talks with governments, including the UK, about new contracts for booster doses, he said.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese)

Reuters / FT