© Chris Jackson/Pool via Reuters Prince Charles visits AstraZeneca’s global R&D facility in Cambridge on Thursday – Chris Jackson/Pool via Reuters
AstraZeneca may offer longer-lasting immunity than other vaccines, scientists have said amid claims that the jab has helped Britain avoid the latest Covid wave in Europe.
Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of AstraZeneca, said the decision to give the Oxford vaccine to older people in Britain could be one of the reasons the UK was not seeing “so many hospitalisations relative to Europe” despite a high number of cases.
The Telegraph understands that the pharmaceutical company is preparing to release data showing that its jab offers long term T-cell immunity for older people even after antibodies wane. Mr Soriot said the immunity provided by T-cells may be “more durable”.
Several countries – including France, Germany, Spain and Belgium – restricted the AstraZeneca vaccine to under-65s in the early stages of their rollouts, claiming there was not enough data to prove it worked for older people.
In France, daily infections passed 30,000 for the first time since August on Tuesday, with an increase of 63 per cent in a week. Germany confirmed it was planning to make vaccination mandatory for soldiers. The seven-day average of Covid deaths in the country is now twice that in Britain.
Click here to read more.