New coronavirus variant: What do we know?
The name of the new variant: VUI--202012/02
When was it first discovered: According to Public Health England (PHE) since December 13 this year, cases of the mutant virus have been discovered in southeast England.
How worried you should be: Public Health England (PHE) determined that a new virus contains the spike in protein and that this is what makes the virus easier and faster to spread. There is no evidence currently that the variant is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality.
Geographical mapping of the new variant: PHE reminds the public that "All viruses mutate over time and new variants emerge regularly". The new virus has been first detected in the UK but it does not necessarily mean that it does not already exist elsewhere. It only means that it has been first detected in the UK, mostly because of the very close surveillance of the British scientist. Britain has the best genetic surveillance of coronavirus in the world. The majority of cases detected are in London, the South East, and the East of England.
Resistance to the Pfizer vaccine: no evidence to suggest that the Pfizer vaccine would not protect people against the new variant.
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