The new strain of Covid-19 has 17 mutations, scientists have discovered.
UK experts have been analysing the new variant of coronavirus and say they have uncovered 17 alterations from the original strain of the killer disease, which they described as “a lot”.
Many of the changes have happened to the virus’s spike protein, which it uses to latch onto human cells and cause illness.
This is significant because most Covid-19 vaccines being developed, including the Pfizer jab that has already begun to be rolled out in the UK, are effective by targeting this protein.
It is feared this could stop people becoming immune to coronavirus if they have been infected with a different strain than the vaccine can protect them against.
Scientists including England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty have said there is “currently no evidence” that the new variant will stop the vaccine from working.
The strain has also been spotted in Denmark and Australia.
Professor Nick Loman, from the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham, is a member of the UK’s Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium which is studying the mutations.
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Source: Daily Star