UK plans to work with Germany's CureVac on vaccines against coronavirus variants

WION Web Team
London, London, United Kingdom Published: Feb 05, 2021, 06:55 PM(IST)

Covid vaccination Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cited the possibility of new variants of the coronavirus as one of the biggest risks to the vaccine rollout and hopes that the economy can start to be reopened from lockdown in the spring.

Britain has agreed on a deal with German biotech firm CureVac to work to develop vaccines against coronavirus variants. The country has even, to this end, placed an initial order for 50 million doses in case they are needed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cited the possibility of new variants of the coronavirus as one of the biggest risks to the vaccine rollout and hopes that the economy can start to be reopened from lockdown in the spring. Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines being rolled out appear to work well against variants currently dominant in Britain.

The government said that almost all vaccines developed through the partnership would be variants of CureVac's existing shot, which is currently undergoing late-stage clinical trials.

For CureVac, the alliance marks another move to catch up with leading mRNA vaccine developers BioNTech and Moderna and to regain the pole position for a new generation of vaccines that prevent more than one variant in one treatment course.

On Wednesday, it announced a partnership with Britain's GlaxoSmithKline on vaccines against variants.

CureVac said it chose Britain because of its leading role in analysing the viral genetic makeup as the pathogen evolves, and the country's head start in rolling out the first generation of vaccines.

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