Covid-19: New variant most significant yet, say British health officials

More studies needed to determine if strain evades vaccines



By Reuters

Published: Fri 26 Nov 2021, 11:30 AM

Last updated: Fri 26 Nov 2021, 11:39 AM

Britain said on Friday that a newly identified coronavirus variant spreading in South Africa was considered by scientists to be the most significant one yet found and so it needed to ascertain whether or not it made vaccines ineffective.

Defending a ban on flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the lesson of Covid was that early action was essential.

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The UK Health Security Agency said that the variant - called B.1.1.529 - has a spike protein that was dramatically different to the one in the original coronavirus that Covid-19 vaccines are based on.


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