Vaccines May Not Be Effective On South Africa’s Coronavirus Strain, Say UK Scientists

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Scientists are not sure about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines on the new strain of coronavirus found in South Africa, ITV’s political editor said on Monday, citing a scientific adviser to the British government without naming him.

Earlier on Monday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock had said that he was “incredibly worried” about the new variant.

“According to one of the government’s scientific advisers, the reason for Matt Hancock’s ‘incredible worry’ about the South African COVID-19 variant is that they are not as confident the vaccines will be as effective against it as they are for the UK’s variant,” ITV political editor Robert Peston said.

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Notably, new variants of coronavirus have been found in both Britain and South Africa in recent months, which has lead to a rise in case numbers.

As per scientists, the new strain of coronavirus found in South African is different from other variants circulating in the country because it has multiple mutations in the “spike” protein which is used by the virus to infect human cells.

It is also being said that the variant leads to a higher viral load, meaning a higher concentration of virus particles in the body of infected individuals, which can possibly contribute to higher levels of transmission.

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