New coronavirus strain: What is it?
According to UK scientists, the new variant, dubbed “VUI 202012/01”, involves a genetic mutation in the “spike” protein that can cause the spread of virus instantly and easily among humans. This means that the variant identified in the south-east of England has 17 mutations that affect the shape of the virus, including the spike protein that gives the coronavirus family its name.
According to Professor Nick Loman of the Institute of Microbiology and Disease at the University of Birmingham, a member of the COVID-19 Genomics UK consortium (COG-UK), “There are 17 changes that would affect protein structure in a somehow distinguish this difference from its common ancestor type of other circulating variations, which is a lot.
What are the authorities saying?
The British government confirmed the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, which, according to them, is due to the new variant of coronavirus. Officials have not said anything about whether or not the new variant can cause serious infections, but are still stressing the rise in the positive cases and its association with the species. new coronavirus.
According to Nick Loman at the University of Birmingham in the UK, which monitors and prescribes coronaviruses, many of the mutations were seen earlier, but it is unusual to see them all together.
That said, the World Health Organization (WHO) was briefed on the current new crisis and Matt Hancock, the UK Secretary of Health, confirmed that this was the case when he renewed the House of Commons. about the country’s COVID-19 revolution.
Can the new move make the COVID vaccine ineffective?
While there is no evidence that a mutation in a virus can help to avoid the effectiveness of the vaccine, there are chances and chances that we should be aware of and prepared for them. Considering the development of the vaccine to target a specific spike protein, the new variant that could alter the shape of the existing spike protein could be harmless with the new vaccine. However, the UK Secretary of Health has said that it would be highly unlikely that this variant would be able to evade the immune response caused by vaccinations.