New Coronavirus Strain: What is it?
According to British scientists, the new variant, called “VUI 202012/01”, contains a genetic mutation in the “Spike” protein, which could be the cause of the immediate and easy spread of the virus among humans. This means that the variant identified in southeast England has 17 mutations that affect the shape of the virus, including the spike protein that gives the coronavirus family its name.
Professor Nick Loman of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham, a member of the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK), said, “There are actually 17 changes that would affect protein structure in any way. Distinguish these Variant of their kind, common ancestors of other variants in circulation, which is a great deal.
What do the authorities say?
The UK government has confirmed the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, which it believes can be attributed to the new variant of the coronavirus. Officials have not said anything about whether or not the new variant can cause serious infections, but they continue to emphasize the surge in positive cases and their association with the new strain of coronavirus.
According to Nick Loman of the University of Birmingham in the UK, who monitors and sequences coronaviruses, many of the mutations have been seen before, but it’s unusual to see them all together.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been briefed on the current new crisis, and UK Minister of Health Matt Hancock confirmed it while keeping the House of Commons informed of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak.
Can the new mutation make the COVID vaccine ineffective?
While there is no evidence that mutating a virus could help prevent the vaccine from working, there are opportunities and possibilities that we know and that we could be prepared for. Since the vaccine was specifically developed for a specific spike protein, the new variant, which can change the shape of the existing spike protein, cannot be affected by the new vaccine. However, the UK Health Secretary has claimed it is highly unlikely that this variant could evade the immune response caused by a vaccine.