The new variant of the coronavirus found in Africa is the most worrying that British health professionals have seen, as it has twice the number of mutations compared to the Delta, including some that are associated with the possibility of not being recognized by antibodies.
The UK Health and Safety Administration said the variant, called B.1.1.529, carries a spike protein that is dramatically different from that of the original coronavirus strain on which the Covid-19 vaccine was based.
It has mutations that may not be recognized by antibodies produced by both previous infections and vaccination, as well as mutations associated with increased transmissibility.
According to the Guardian, England will put South Africa on the “red” list of travel restrictions, due to this variant. The variant poses “a potentially significant threat to the vaccination program, which we must protect at all costs,” British government sources said, according to the report.