Coronavirus live news: Moderna jab for under-50s in UK in April; Mexico death toll revised up by 60%

Minister confirms plans to roll out US vaccine to younger people within weeks; Mexico death toll revised by 60% to 321,000;

  • Moderna jab to be introduced in UK in April, minister confirms
  • Mexico Covid death toll leaps 60% to reach 321,000
  • UK key workers given jabs in secret to avoid wasting vaccine
  • Australia races to contain Brisbane outbreak
  • See all our coronavirus coverage

Sinopharm will need to assess phrase 3 trial results before deciding whether its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine should be accompanied by a booster shot, a company executive said on Sunday.

Vaccine manufacturers are considering whether additional doses may be required amid concerns about emerging virus variants that could lower the protection existing vaccines offer, Reuters reports.

The preliminary results so far showed that the booster vaccination can effectively increase the neutralising antibody titer and antibody persistence, and also effectively improve the vaccine’s ability to resist mutations,” Zhang Yuntao, vice-president at China National Biotec Group (CNBG), an affiliate of Sinopharm, said on Sunday.

Is a booster shot needed? When will the booster be given? The answer should be based on the results of future phase 3 clinical studies,” Zhang said at a news conference.

A third coronavirus vaccine will start being administered in the UK next month, joining the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs already in use, the culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, has confirmed.

Britain has ordered 17m doses of the Moderna vaccine, which has a 94% efficacy rate in trials, and Dowden said the first supplies were expected to arrive in April.

Related: Moderna Covid vaccine to be introduced in UK from April

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