UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference on Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Downing Street on January 15, 2021 in London, England.
Dominic Lipinski | Getty Images
LONDON – There is “some evidence” that a new variant of Covid, first identified in the UK, could be more deadly than the original variety, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday.
“We were informed today that not only is there a faster spread, but there is also evidence that the new variant – the variant first discovered in London and the south east (of England) – may be associated with a higher one Mortality rate, “Johnson said at a news conference.
He added that all evidence suggests the vaccines are out Pfizer– –BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford University, both of which are currently in use in the UK, remain effective against both the old and new variants of the virus.
The evidence is still in a preliminary stage and is being assessed by the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats, which is advising the UK Government.
The as B.1.1.7. Known variant has an unusually high number of mutations and is associated with more efficient and faster transmission.
Scientists first discovered this mutation in September. The worrying variant has since been detected in at least 44 countries, including the US, which has reported its presence in 12 states.
Last week the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the modeled trajectory of the variant in the USA “shows rapid growth in early 2021 and will become the predominant variant in March”.