Experts claim coronavirus vaccine is still effective against new mutant strain

Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, made the announcement in particular to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine following a meeting with EU experts in Berlin on Sunday

EU experts claim the new Covid-19 vaccines will still be effective against the mutant strain of the virus.

Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, said the information emerged following a meeting with EU experts in Berlin on Sunday.

He told broadcaster ZDF that ‘according to everything we know so far’ the new strain ‘has no impact on the vaccines’ which will remain ‘just as effective’.

The news comes after London and parts of the south east were plunged into a new Tier 4 to tackle the mutant strain which has been described as 'fast-spreading'.

Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that the tougher restrictions were needed as the new variant could be up to 70% more infectious than the main strain.

EU experts claim the new Covid-19 vaccines will still be effective

Mr Spahn's reassurance was referring in particular to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which the NHS started rolling out across the UK early this month.

The French Government supported Mr Spahn's claim in a statement.

It reads: "This genetic variant does not seem to entail, at this stage of knowledge, a heightened seriousness or a resistance to the vaccine."

However they questioned Mr Johnson's claim about the infectiousness of the new virus saying it ‘has not been demonstrated at this stage’.

The new vaccines was rolled out in the UK earlier this month

The Pfizer-BioNTech jab, which is from Germany, has also been approved in the US and is close to being given the green light by the European Medicines Agency.

The news of the mutant strain in the UK has resulted in Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Austria, Israel, Bulgaria and El Salvador banning flights from the UK.

While anyone who have spent 24 hours or more in the UK before flying to the Czech Republic will have to self-isolate.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said nine cases of the mutated virus have been detected in Denmark, while the Netherlands and Australia have both confirmed one each.

Italy has detected a single case in a person returning from Britain.

Germany, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, has organised an emergency meeting of experts to discuss the country's response to the new threat on Monday, a health ministry spokesman said.


The meeting will be held under the European Council’s IPCR crisis response scheme, which can be invoked for health, environmental or terrorist emergencies among others.

Mr Johnson is reportedly holding a COBRA meeting on Monday morning to discuss the situation regarding international travel and freight flows after Dover closed its ports.

Dr Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, warned the new variant had already spread to Wales, Scotland and other parts of England.

She said that while many regions had cases of the new strain, these were in much smaller numbers than in London, Kent and parts of Essex.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the new strain is 'out of control' and has urged the 17.7million people living in Tier 4 to behave like they have the virus.


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