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UK's coronavirus variant a concern, mutates again


UK's coronavirus variant a concern, mutates again

One of the most dangerous coronavirus variants first found in the UK has been reported to have mutated again, and it could potentially sweep the world if not contained. The UK was one of the first countries to start a vaccination drive, but the mutated variant of the Coronavirus is stronger than any vaccine developed in the world. There is a fear that the vaccines will need to be tweaked, and people may require booster shots.Sharon Peacock, director of the Covid-19 Genomics UK consortium, said vaccines were so far effective against the United Kingdom variants but that mutations could potentially undermine the shots.

"What's concerning about this is that the 1.1.7. 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. 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," Peacock told the BBC.

There are more than 21 cases of that variant which has E484K mutation. It occurs on the spike protein of the virus. The same change has also been seen in the South African and Brazilian variants.The Coronavirus has been mutating at a rapid pace. The mutation is the property of a virus to undergo changes when it multiplies. As it replicates, it can producenew strains, which may be more or at times less effective. Some strains die out, while the more effective ones sustain.The two Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca protect against the main British variant, but not the new mutant.

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