UK variant of Covid will 'sweep the world', says scientist

UK variant of Covid will 'sweep the world', says scientist
LONDON: The coronavirus variant first found in the UK region of Kent is of concern as it could undermine vaccine protection against the development of Covid-19, the head of the UK genetic surveillance program said.
She also said the variant was dominant in the country and was likely to "conquer the world in all likelihood."
The coronavirus has killed 2.35 million people and turned normal life upside down for billions, but a few new troubling variants out of the thousands have raised fears that vaccines need adjusting and that people may need booster shots.
Sharon Peacock, director of the Covid-19 Genomics UK consortium, said vaccines have been effective against the UK variants so far, but mutations could potentially undermine the shots.
“What's disturbing about this is that the 1.1.7. Variant that we've had in circulation for several weeks and months is starting to mutate again and get new mutations that could affect the way we interact with the virus in terms of immunity and effectiveness of vaccines. '' Peacock told the BBC.
"Worryingly, the 1.1.7., Which is more transmissible, which has engulfed the country, is now mutating to have this new mutation that could threaten vaccination."
That new mutation, first identified in Bristol, South West England, has been referred to as a "Variant of Concern" by the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group.
There have been 21 cases so far of that variant that has the E484K mutation, which occurs on the spike protein of the virus, the same change as observed in the South African and Brazilian variants.
“You have to be a realist that this particular mutation has now emerged in our kind of common garden line, at least five times – five different times. And so this will keep popping up,” Peacock said.
There are three known variants of concern to scientists: The South African variant, known to scientists as 20I / 501Y.V2 or B.1.351; the so-called UK or Kent variant, known as 20I / 501Y.V1 or B.1.1.7; and the Brazilian variant known as P.1.
The British variety, which is more contagious but not necessarily more deadly than others, would likely “take the world”, Peacock said.
“Once we get on top of (the virus) or it mutates itself because it's virulent and causes disease – then we don't have to worry about it anymore. But I think we'll be doing this for years to come. are still going to do this in 10 years' time. "
The two Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca protect against the main British variant.

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