The U.K. is planning to bolster coronavirus testing capabilities at the Porton Down research facility in southern England in order to asses the effectiveness of vaccines against variants of the virus.
The British government said another 29.3 million pounds ($41 million) will be made available for the “new state-of-the-art labs,” which will increase the site’s current capacity from 700 to 3,000 blood samples tested a week.
The investment aims to give Porton Down’s scientists the ability to accelerate the pace and scale of specialized testing to support the rapid development of vaccines designed to combat mutations of the virus.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the new funding “will enable us to further future-proof the country from the threat of new variants.”
Perhaps the greatest concern about the future path of the pandemic relates to the effectiveness of the vaccines against new mutations of the virus.