UK flags concern over newly identified coronavirus variant


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LONDON - A newly identified coronavirus variant that has spread in South Africa is the most concerning that British health officials have seen as it has double the number of mutations of the Delta variant including some associated with evading immune response.

The UK Health Security Agency said that the variant - called B.1.1.529 - has a spike protein that was dramatically different to the one in the original coronavirus that COVID-19 vaccines are based on.

It has mutations that are likely to evade the immune response generated both by prior infection and vaccination, and also mutations associated with increased infectivity.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by William Schomberg)

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