AstraZeneca tests COVID booster shots against Beta-variant | Health News

London: British-Swedish biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has in partnership with the University of Oxford rolled out human trials for booster shots against Beta COVID variant.

The booster shot, named AZD2816, will be administered to individuals who have previously been fully vaccinated with two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine/Vaxzervia or an mRNA vaccine, at least three months after their last injection.

In non-vaccinated individuals, AZD2816 will be given as two doses, four or twelve weeks apart, or given as a second dose following a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine/Vaxzervia –four weeks apart, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

AZD2816 has been designed using the same adenoviral vector platform as AstraZeneca vaccine/ Vaxzervia, with minor genetic alterations to the spike protein based on the Beta (B1351) variant, first identified in South Africa.

The study aims to enroll 2,250 participants from the UK, South Africa, Brazil and Poland to build immunity against the Beta COVID variant.

Johnson & Johnson is studying the need for a second dose to raise protection against the virus, the report said.

The US NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, or NIAID, is also conducting a clinical trial to understand whether a third shot of a Moderna vaccine could be given after a person initially received two shots of Pfizer, or one shot of Johnson & Johnson, the report added.

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