Health authorities in England have identified 38 cases of a new variant of the new coronavirus, which carries a mutation believed to reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, the government said.
“At present there is no evidence that these mutations cause more serious illness or increase transmissibility,” said Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of Public Health Services (PHE).
According to PHE, cases of the new variant were found in various parts of England.
The variant, codenamed B.1.525, carries the E484K mutation in the spike protein, which is also present in the South African variant. This mutation is thought to undermine the effectiveness of vaccines.
The B.1.525 mutation has also been identified to date in Nigeria, Denmark and Canada.