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NO HINT THAT COVID VARIANTS CAN FULLY EVADE VACCINES, SAYS SCIENTIST

Health experts “haven’t seen any hint” at the moment of a Covid variant that can fully evade the effectiveness of vaccines, a leading scientist has said.

Sharon Peacock, head of the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) and professor of public health and microbiology at the University of Cambridge, said it could be the case that coronavirus mutates to become less infectious, though she warned it could take years for it to become like the common cold.

Asked whether a variant will emerge somewhere across the globe that is resistant to current vaccines, Prof Peacock told Times Radio: “That’s what we’d call it, a variant of major concern. We haven’t seen anything like that to date, and the question you’re asking is the million dollar question in many ways, everybody wants to know what’s the likelihood and when is it likely to occur, if at all.

“What we don’t know is if it is likely to occur. We know that as mutations accumulate in the virus, it can actually make it more fit in terms of avoiding our immune system, but the more mutations it accumulates, it could actually lead to a virus that is less infectious, for example.

“So there’s a trade-off for the virus in terms of how many mutations it can tolerate.”

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