Scientists say new UK strain may not affect Covid-19 vaccines’ efficacy

23 December 2020 (Last Updated December 23rd, 2020 12:17)

Scientists have said that the new coronavirus strain, which has been initially detected in the UK, may not affect the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines as of now but may require to appropriately alter preventives if more mutations occur.

The new viral strain, VUI-202012/0, was detected on 21 September, PTI reported.

The UK communicated preliminary modelling results that show the variant is more transmissible than previously ones.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the variant has an estimated surge in reproductive number (R) by 0.4 or greater and an estimated increased transmissibility of up to 70%.

The new virus strain is believed to have 13 mutations in the spike protein. The N501Y mutation of these causes it to spread 70% faster than earlier versions.