THE OXFORD/AstraZeneca vaccine remains effective against the coronavirus variant first found in Kent and the South East of England.

Oxford University researchers who developed the jab said it has a similar efficacy against the Kent variant, as it does against the original strain.

Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, and chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said: "Data from our trials of the ChAdOx1 (AstraZeneca) vaccine in the United Kingdom indicate that the vaccine not only protects against the original pandemic virus, but also protects against the novel, B.1.1.7, which caused the surge in disease from the end of 2020 across the UK."

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Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology, and chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial said: "All viruses accumulate mutations over time, and for influenza vaccines, there is a well-known process of global viral surveillance, and selection of strains for an annual update of the vaccines."

This story will be updated.