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Britain’s new Covid variant “likely to sweep the world”, says scientist

Sharon Peacock, director of the Covid-19 Genomics UK consortium, said the new Covid variant found in Britain is likely “to sweep the world, in all probability”. Also, the UK’s genetic surveillance programme has predicted this new variant could become the world’s dominant strain. “What’s concerning about this is that the 1.1.7. the variant that we have had circulating for some weeks and months is beginning to mutate again and get new mutations which could affect the way that we handle the virus in terms of immunity and effectiveness of vaccines,” Sharon Peacock, director of the Covid-19 Genomics UK consortium, said.

“It’s concerning that the 1.1.7., which is more transmissible, which has swept the country, is now mutating to have this new mutation that could threaten vaccination,” she added. “Once we get on top of [the virus] or it mutates itself out of being virulent – causing disease – then we can stop worrying about it. But I think, looking in the future, we’re going to be doing this for years. We’re still going to be doing this 10 years down the line, in my view.

 

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