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AstraZeneca, Oxford expect 'next generation' COVID-19 vaccine to tackle variants by autumn - executive

LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca and Oxford University aim to produce the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines that will protect against variants as soon as the autumn, a senior executive at the British drugmaker said on Wednesday.

Asked when AstraZeneca could produce a next generation vaccine to tackle new variants, AstraZeneca research chief Mene Pangalos said “as rapidly as possible”.

“We’re working very hard and we’re already talking about not just the variants that we have to make in laboratories, but also the clinical studies that we need to run,” he said in a briefing with media.

“We’re very much aiming to try and have something ready by the autumn, so this year.”

The partners are getting close to having data on the efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine on older adults, Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said. (Reporting by Alistair Smout and Kate Kelland; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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