UK variant of coronavirus a concern, ‘likely to sweep the world’, warns scientist
The coronavirus variant first found in the British region of Kent is a concern because it could undermine the protection given by vaccines against developing COVID-19, the head of the UK’s genetic surveillance programme said.
She also said the variant was dominant in the country and was likely “to sweep the world, in all probability”.
Sharon Peacock, director of the COVID-19 Genomics UK consortium, said vaccines were so far effective against the variants in the United Kingdom, 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,” Peacock told the BBC.