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The vaccines developed against the novel coronavirus are still expected to work against the new strain recently discovered in the UK.
The mutation has possibly made the virus more easily spreadable, but should not affect the effectiveness of the vaccine, says Maria Van Kerkhove, the head of the technical department for the coronavirus of the WHO.
"The UK has informed us that they don’t believe that there’s an impact on the vaccine. So that’s good news," said Kerkhove in an interview, according to Global News.
Other experts seem to agree with Kerkhove:
"There is a strong belief here that the vaccine, as it exists today … will have effectiveness in warding off infection from this new strain in England, in addition to the old strain that we've been contending with for months now," said Vin Gupta, a researcher working at the University of Washington, according to CNBC.
Apparently the new strain found in the UK, along with other new strains, seem to be genetically similar enough to previous strains and to each other.
Gupta went on to say:
"The effectiveness of these vaccines in producing antibodies that can really attack and kill Covid-19 is extraordinary. I don’t expect these minor changes at the genetic level … to affect the vaccines’ performance in the near term."
"I do think that this might impact our future facing work, but it's not going to impact the near term. It will not impact the current vaccines’ effectiveness in ending the pandemic."