esting amenities at Porton Down are to be bolstered to assist “future proof” the nation towards the specter of new variants of the virus which causes Covid-19, the Health Secretary has mentioned.
The Division of Well being and Social Care (DHSC) mentioned that it’ll plough more cash into the growth of laboratories on the Wiltshire website the place scientists check current and new vaccines towards variants of concern.
Assessments on blood samples might help scientists monitor the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines.
Present testing capability is 700 checks per week.
DHSC mentioned this can enhance to 1,500 by January 2022 – backed with a earlier £20 million funding.
And it mentioned an extra £29.three million funding will double the capability for testing variant samples to three,00zero per week when the work is accomplished.
“We’ve backed UK science from the very begin of this pandemic and this multi-million pound funding for a state-of-the-art vaccine testing facility at Porton Down will allow us to additional future-proof the nation from the specter of new variants,” mentioned Well being Secretary Matt Hancock.
Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi added: “Our vaccination programme has to this point saved hundreds of lives, however it’s important we put in place sturdy assist for the programme for the longer term.
“This funding will enable us to extend the testing capability at Porton Down with a brand new revolutionary facility and guarantee our COVID-19 vaccines are efficient towards any future variants of concern.”
Dr Jenny Harries chief govt on the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA), mentioned: “A brand new variant that may escape the present vaccines is the best danger of a 3rd wave. This new funding will assist us keep one step forward of the virus by doubling our capability to check vaccine effectiveness towards rising variants.
“Whereas we count on the present vaccines to supply safety towards new variants, significantly stopping critical sickness and demise, it’s important that we proceed to watch the image because it develops.”