The public should have “confidence” in the UK vaccination programme, the vaccines minister says – despite a study showing the AstraZeneca jab may be less effective against the South African variant of Covid-19. The study involved about 2,000 people, with an average age of 31. It showed the jab offered “minimal protection” against mild and moderate disease from the South African variant. AstraZeneca said it did not know whether the jab would stop severe illness, because the study was predominantly on younger people. But the company said it could still be effective. Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi says the jabs “appear to work well” against the variants currently dominant in the UK. On Sunday, he told the BBC that a booster in the autumn, and annual vaccines, could be needed to combat variants. He also ruled out “vaccine passports” for people to travel – watch the clip below.