By Bloomberg News

(Bloomberg) – AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine is equally effective against the new strain of the virus that emerged in the UK, according to a study by its co-developer, the University of Oxford.

Protection against symptomatic infection was similar for the new variant as well as the original strain, according to the study, which analysed swabs taken from volunteers from October through mid-January.

The results should ease concerns about the effectiveness of existing vaccines against the mutated form of the virus, which health officials have said may be more infectious than the initial one. The findings are disclosed in a preprint of the study, which has not been peer-reviewed.

BioNTech SE, developer of another coronavirus vaccine with Pfizer, has also said its shot appears to maintain effectiveness against the new strain.

There are some indications that other mutated versions of the virus that have been linked to Brazil and South Africa may be more problematic for vaccines.

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