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UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps has said that vaccines may not respond in the same way to the South African variant of COVID-19. Shapps is echoing concerns raised by British scientists earlier in the week and contradicts a more upbeat assessment by Pfizer.

The US drugmaker, which developed a jab with Germany’s BioNTech, said that its lab tests show that the immunization project works against both the Britsh and South African strains. The research is still awaited peer review. 

S&P futures have edged lower but still remain positive. The safe-haven US dollar is marginally higher in response. 

Coronavirus: Statistics, herd immunity, vaccine calendar and impact on financial markets and currencies