26 Jan, 2021 12:00 am

COVID-19: Vaccines will be effective in combatting mutant strains

COVID-19: Vaccines will be effective in combatting mutant strains
VACCINES and other treatments are expected to work against the latest coronavirus variant identified in the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced.

Mr Hancock said yesterday: "It is very reassuring that our assessment is the vaccine works against the new variant and that the treatments work against the new variant.He said: "We have a high degree of confidence that this vaccine that we're rolling out in the UK right now works against the variants, both the old variant here and the new variant.Graham Medley, professor of infectious disease modelling at LSHTM, said the new mutation was not more benign: "One of the possibilities was that this new variant would cause less mortality." The boost came after US pharmaceutical company Moderna said that its vaccine was effective against the UK and South African types but the antibody response against the latter was reduced six-fold.

Moderna said its vaccine is effective against UK and South African types He said: "If it's able to spread between cells much quicker in the lungs then that may increase the rate of the disease and the rate of inflammation, which may then progress quicker than the body can respond to it." Prof Edmunds said there was "a hint" the South African mutation may also be more deadly but this was based on crude analysis.

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