British health authorities have expressed serious concern about a new strain of coronavirus that has recently spread in South Africa, suggesting that vaccines will be less effective against it.
And the British Health Security Agency said, on Thursday, that the strain called “1.1.529B” contains a so-called “spike protein”, which is completely different from the protein found in the original Corona virus that “Covid-19” vaccines were designed to resist.
The new strain carries twice the number of mutations in the “delta” strain, among which are related to avoiding the immune response resulting from both previous infection and vaccination, as well as mutations associated with increased infection.
Scientists said that laboratory studies are needed to assess the possibility that the mutations will result in a significant decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines.
Meanwhile, British Health Minister Sajid Javid confirmed in a press statement: “What we know is that there are a large number of mutations, perhaps twice the number of mutations that we saw in the delta variable.”
He continued, “This would indicate that it may be more transmissible and that the vaccines that we currently have may be less effective.”
Earlier today, Thursday, South African scientists said that they had discovered the new strain of the virus that causes “Covid-19” disease in small numbers, and were working to understand its potential repercussions.
The scientists told a press conference that this strain contains a “very unusual set” of mutations, which are of concern because they can evade the body’s immune response and make it more transmissible.
The new strain was also found in Botswana and Hong Kong.
And the British Health Security Agency said that no cases of this strain were discovered in Britain, and that its scientists are in contact with their colleagues in South Africa to see their data.