The variant of the coronavirus first found in the British Kent region is concerning because it could undermine the protection offered by vaccines against the COVID-19 diseasesaid the head of the UK genetic surveillance program, Sharon Peacock.
Kent’s variant “is going to sweep the world, in all likelihood”, declared to the BBC Peacock, who serves as director of the COVID-19 Genomics UK consortium.
The coronavirus has killed 2.35 million people and affected normal life, but the new variants have raised concerns that vaccines must be adjusted and that people need to reinforce the inoculation.
Peacock noted that vaccines so far effective against variants in the UK, but that mutations could undermine vaccination results.
“The worrying thing about this is that variant 1.1.7. that we have had circulating is beginning to mutate again and obtain new mutations that could affect the way we handle the virus in terms of immunity and vaccine efficacy “Peacock told the BBC.
This new mutation, first identified in Bristol in south-west England, has been designated as “Worrying variant”, by the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threat Advisory Group.
So far there is 21 cases of this variant that has the E484K mutation, which occurs in the spike protein of the virus, the same change that has been seen in the South African and Brazilian variants.
There are three main known variants of concern to scientists: the South African, known to scientists as 20I / 501Y.V2 or B.1.351; the British or Kentish, officially 20I / 501Y.V1 or B.1.1.7; and the Brazilian, called P.1.
The two COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech Y AstraZeneca They protect against the main British variant.
“Once we have controlled the virus or it has mutated to stop being virulent, that is, to cause disease, we can stop worrying about it. But I think that, looking forward, we will continue to do this for years to come. In my opinion, we will continue to do so for 10 years”, He concluded.
(With information from Reuters)
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