The head of the British Ministry of Health, Sajid Javid, believes that existing coronavirus vaccines may be less effective against the recently identified strain B.1.1.529. A new variety of the virus became known the day before, the first cases of infection were detected in Africa.
As the minister explained, the new COVID-19 strain has “a significant number of mutations” – possibly double that of the delta strain. “And this suggests that it may be more infectious, and the vaccines we have, may be less effective,” said Mr Javid (quoted from Reuters).
In African countries, a new strain of COVID-19 has already been found in more than 80 people. Because of this, the UK has already decided to suspend flights with six African countries, and Israel has banned its citizens from visiting seven African countries. Experts believe that the B.1.1.529 strain may be more resistant to vaccines. The World Health Organization will hold an emergency meeting today, November 26.