Health Secretary Matt Hancock will host a press conference on Downing Street later Monday, announced No. 10.
Ministers have tried to reassure the public about the effectiveness of the Oxford / AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, as experts warned it was “very possible” that the South African variant is already widespread in the UK.
A study with around 2,000 people has shown that the sting offers only minimal protection against minor diseases of the South African variant and, due to the young age of the participants, could not conclude whether the sting is effective against serious diseases.
Health Secretary Edward Argar said Monday that Oxford researchers remained confident that their vaccine could prevent serious illnesses for those affected by the variant and that boosters to combat new strains were already being prepared.
So far, 147 cases of the South African variant have been identified in the UK. Experts caution this is likely the “tip of the iceberg” as it is the result of samples ranging from 5% to 10% of all positive tests.
It is assumed that the briefing will take place at 5 p.m.