On Thursday (25) the United Kingdom announced its concern that a new type of coronavirus has been identified that is spreading through South Africa and could make vaccines less effective, and imposed restrictions on six African countries.
The United Kingdom announced that it is temporarily banning flights from South Africa and five other countries from midday Friday, and British travelers from these places will need to quarantine.
Britain’s Health Security Agency said the strain – called B.1.1.529 – contained a protein escalate Which differs significantly from the original coronavirus on which the vaccines were based.
The new form contains mutations that can evade the immune response caused by previous infection and vaccination, as well as mutations associated with increased infection.
“What we do know is that there are a large number of mutations, possibly twice the number of mutations that we saw in the delta variant,” Health Minister Sajid Javid told the press.
This may indicate that it may be more transmissible and that our existing vaccines may be less effective.
Javid said more data is needed, but that travel restrictions are needed as a precaution, while scientists say laboratory studies are needed to assess the potential for mutations to decrease vaccine efficacy.
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