By Tony Winterburn • 02 February 2021 • 13:07
New Mutated Strain From Kent Could Be More Resistant To Vaccines.
THE NEW mutation of the Kent variant has been detected in some samples which could help the virus evade the immune system, scientists have found. The mutation, which has been labelled E484K, has also been found in the South Africa variant of the coronavirus.
It was found in 11 samples of some 200,000 that have been sequenced. Sky’s science correspondent Thomas Moore said it was a “worrying development” as it could mean those previously infected could be re-infected and could reduce the effectiveness of COVID vaccines. There are real fears that it will prove to be resistant to the coronavirus vaccine.
Professor Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said: “The mutation of most concern, which we call E484K, has also occurred spontaneously in the new Kent strain in parts of the country too. It’s incredibly important to snuff it out where you can and seek it out where you can and use that time of suppression to maximise vaccination within the population,” Professor Semple told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
The mutation sparking concern for the scientist is the variant first detected in Kent last autumn, called B.1.1.7. Experts said it was likely that the E484K mutation had appeared in cases of the Kent variant by chance, although it was completely possible that someone had been infected with both the South African
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