New British-made vaccine to target multiple COVID variants

Glaxo reveals promising lab results for new British-made vaccine that could target multiple COVID variants.

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British drug manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline revealed that its new COVID vaccine has churned out excellent results in initial laboratory tests. While awaiting human trials this year, ministers are set to order up to 50 million doses of the jab.

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New British jab

GSK and German partner CureVac said that the mRNA technology that forms the core of the vaccine could be used to create a potential multivalent vaccine that would by default protect against several COVID variants.

The premier version of the vaccine, developed by the German company, failed in previous large-scale trials. The newest trials were conducted in collaboration with Harvard and involved macaque monkeys being jabbed with either the original vaccine or a new version, known as CV2CoV.

The Times reported that human trials are scheduled to commence later this year. Britain said in February that it could order 50 million doses, with ministers confirming that the project would lead to the UK developing the ability to manufacture its own mRNA vaccines.

GSK, Pfizer and Moderna

GSK,one of the world's biggest vaccine companies, has been criticized over delays in producing a successful COVID vaccine. Its new vaccine is based on the same type of mRNA technology that is found at the heart of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs.

It comes as Moderna's COVID vaccine was approved for all 12 to 17-year-olds, with a review by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the drug supervisory body, finding the jab was safe and effective in youngsters.

Both Moderna and Pfizer's jabs have been connected to myocarditis, a rare heart problem believed to affect around one in 20,000 young people. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization has claimed the risk of heart inflammation still outweighs the benefit of COVID jabs for healthy under-16s.

The paper reported that the new COVID jab was shown to generate more robust immune responses, with higher levels of antibodies and stronger activation of so-called 'memory B' and 'T' cells, important aspects of the body's defenses against the virus

Monkeys vaccinated with the new jab were also found to be better protected when they were exposed to the virus. In a statement, the companies said there was 'highly effective clearance of the virus in the lungs and nasal passages.'

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