Experts are worried about the effect of a strong Covid-19 strain from Brazil on new vaccines

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Experts are worried about the effect of a strong Covid-19 strain from Brazil on new vaccines

Experts are worried about the effect of a strong Covid-19 strain from Brazil on new vaccines, so Britain is appealing for a person infected with it to come forward.
The public appeal came just a week before England was scheduled to begin unwinding its third Covid lockout, with success contingent on the vaccines’ ability to stop the pandemic.
The variant that appeared in Manaus, northern Brazil, has been found in six people in the United Kingdom, one of whom has gone missing after failing to fill in their contact information on a form after taking their coronavirus test.
We’re using a number of data points to try to identify them, not least to encourage anyone who took a test on (February) 12 and hasn’t got a result to come forward, vaccinations minister Nadhim Zahawi told BBC television.
After two of the Manaus cases were confirmed in South Gloucestershire, western England, he said community-wide “surge testing” will begin.
Experts cautioned that the mutant was more transmissible and stronger at evading antibodies than the UK’s predominant strain, which appeared in the southeastern county of Kent last September, based on data from Brazil.
Danny Altmann, an immunology professor at Imperial College in London, said the public should be “somewhat nervous but not fully alarmed” about the Manaus variant’s arrival in the UK.
It’s not that all immunity is gone; it’s that the vaccinations tend to be less successful, which means there will be more people with low antibody responses who will be affected, he told Times Radio.
“It all comes back with a vengeance.”
Britain prohibited flights from South America, including Brazil, in mid-January.
However, the latest cases arrived around February 10 on a flight from Sao Paulo via Zurich, leading opposition parties to complain about gaps in the border protection regime.
The Covid pandemic has taken the lives of most people in Europe.
The government reported on Sunday that it had given at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine to more than 20 million people, offering some hope that the epidemic is coming to an end — unless new strains arise.
As part of a phased return to normalcy across the coming months, schools across England will reopen to pupils for classroom teaching on Monday.

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