The University of Oxford has said that it can “rapidly” update its Covid-19 vaccine “if it should be necessary” amid rising concerns about the Omicron variant.
Academics at the university, who pioneered the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca said that if the jab needed to be tweaked then the “necessary tools and processes” are in place.
But in a statement, the university stressed the vaccine continued to provide high levels of protection despite the appearance of other new variants, including Delta.
A University of Oxford spokesperson said: “Due to the very recent discovery of the new B.1.1.529 (Omicron) strain of coronavirus, there are limited data available at this time.
“Despite the appearance of new variants over the past year, vaccines have continued to provide very high levels of protection against severe disease and there is no evidence so far that Omicron is any different.”