Vaccines could not work as effectively on virus variants: UK Well being Minister

London: The British Well being Minister warned that coronavirus vaccines could also be much less efficient in opposition to new variants of the illness, equivalent to these present in South Africa and Brazil, and that stricter border controls are justified.

“We don’t know the diploma of that,” Matt Hancock mentioned in an interview on Sky Information on Sunday, commenting on the extent of any potential diminished efficacy of the vaccines. “Within the meantime, we’ve obtained to have a precautionary precept that claims let’s not convey these new variants again to the UK.”

A nurse prepares a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Health authorities remain concerned how it will work against new strains of the coronavirus.

A nurse prepares a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Well being authorities stay involved the way it will work in opposition to new strains of the coronavirus.Credit score:AP

Hancock’s warning got here as Britain reported it had vaccinated greater than 5 million folks, together with three-quarters of these over 80. Hancock mentioned the federal government is conducting a vaccine trial on the South African variant to check its response to the inoculation, and that he’s involved about new variants growing elsewhere.

“The brand new variant I actually fear about is the one which’s on the market however hasn’t been noticed,” he mentioned, including that the UK is providing its genome-sequencing functionality to different nations to assist them establish new strains. There are 77 identified circumstances of the South African variant in Britain, and a minimum of 9 circumstances of the Brazilian variant, Hancock mentioned on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Present.