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COVID-19: No evidence Indian variant cannot ‘bypass’ vaccines, Minister says | UK News

There is currently “no evidence” that the Indian variant of COVID can escape vaccines, the environment secretary said.

The UK has recorded 77 cases of the ‘double mutant’ variant, which is currently being investigated by UK scientists.

George Eustice told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday that while that is “a fairly small number at the moment – it’s something we’re looking at.”

The Environment Secretary added: “I am told that there is no evidence at this time that this particular variant is able to bypass the vaccine or … that it is necessarily more contagious than the others – but we examine it, it will be studied. “

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His comments came a day after an immunology professor warned the UK should be on guard against a third wave of coronavirus after the discovery of the 77 cases of variant B.1.617.

Danny Altmann of Imperial College said discovery of the Indian variant should justify that the country is placed on the “red list” – which means that incoming travelers are subject to a hotel quarantine.

But Mr Eustice said he trusted British scientists.

He told Sophy Ridge: “We have some of the best genomic studies available in this country, we are very good at genome sequencing for different variants and that work is ongoing.”

Patients sit on a bed, waiting to be transferred to a hospital in Ahmedabad, India
This week, India recorded more than 200,000 new coronavirus infections in a single day

However, he spoke of a “broader concern”.

“The biggest threat to anything we do right now is that at some point there will be a variant that manages to escape the vaccine or largely avoid it. incredibly successful with over 60% of the adult population now vaccinated, we continue to proceed with some caution coming out of isolation, ”he said.

This week, India has registered over 200,000 …

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This notice was published: 2021-04-18 09:25:00