Scientists at Porton Down are increasingly confident that vaccines will be able to counter new mutant strains of Covid 19.
Staff at the Government’s top-secret scientific research laboratory in Wiltshire have been examining different strains of the coronavirus since they were first identified at the end of 2020.
These include the so-called South African and Kent variants that prompted Boris Johnson to reverse plans for a Christmas relaxation of lockdown rules.
Scientists at the Government's top-secret scientific research laboratory have been examining different strains of the coronavirus since they were identified at the end of 2020. Picture: Stock
Scientists at Porton Down (pictured) are increasingly confident that vaccines will be able to counter new mutant strains of Covid 19
Investigations suggest that both variants are effectively countered by the vaccines that are being rolled out across the UK because the mutations share a similar biological pattern.
Tests on the strains suggest that initial fears about the efficacy of the vaccines have been overblown.
A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The scientists have been putting this virus under all sorts of tests and are increasingly confident that a vaccine will be able to withstand these variants.’
The news will come as a boost to public health professionals who previously feared that the mutant variants would reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.
On Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘There is evidence… that the South African variant reduces by about 50 per cent the vaccine efficacy.’
On Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured) said: ‘There is evidence… that the South African variant reduces by about 50 per cent the vaccine efficacy.’
A British firm has created a vaccine aimed at protecting against all mutant strains of the Covid-19 virus – and safeguarding the world from another pandemic.
ConserV Bioscience says it could be available in little over a year if pushed through trials.
The vaccine gets the immune system to recognise the parts of viral particles common to all coronaviruses, which mutate little. This means it should protect against all variants of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes Covid-19.