AstraZeneca’s chief executive has suggested its Covid vaccine, developed with Oxford University, may be playing a role in the UK’s relatively low rate of hospital admissions, despite a high infection rate. Pascal Soriot told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that unlike much of Europe, the UK had used the AstraZeneca vaccine on many older people. He said his company’s vaccine known to stimulate the T-cell part of the immune system to a higher degree in this group. Unlike antibodies, which wane over time, the T-cells are a more durable immune response, although they can take time to react to infection. So Mr Soriot suggests this may explain why the virus is able to circulate without causing as many hospital admissions as in some other European countries.

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