Doctor of Public Health England ' no guarantee vaccine will work' against mutant COVID

Dr. Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, said that until further studies are carried out they cannot be certain the vaccine will be effective against the new Covid-19 variant.

She told the Andrew Marr Show: “So we can look at the structure – and we have looked at the structure very carefully, what the mutations do – and therefore the likely impact based on that knowledge of that structure.

“We won’t know for definite until we have further studies.

“We are studying individuals who are admitted to hospital at the moment to determine how many of these may have this variant and is there differences in those who have the variant virus versus other viruses of this type?

“The vaccine induces strong, multiple responses, immune response, and therefore it is unlikely that this vaccine response is going to be completely gone.”

Dr. Hopkins said that the evidence that the new variant was up to 70% more transmissible was based on modeling the rate of increase in the new strain compared to others in circulation.

“We have seen evidence of the virus showing higher viral loads so there’s more virus in the people we are detecting with this virus strain,” she said.

But she said a higher viral load did not mean people were going to get more ill, adding: “The illness comes from the immune response and how it reacts in your lungs – that’s where we know the illness really starts to be driven from and why people need oxygen.


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