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Denmark announced on Friday that they had discovered two cases of a new mutated British variant of the coronavirus.
– This virus variant has not been seen before in Denmark. It was first discovered in the UK, wrote Denmark’s Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke on Twitter.
Virus variant E484K
The new mutation is basically similar to the British variant, which is called B117. In addition, it has a mutation that is found in the South African virus variant and in the Brazilian variant. The new mutation has been named E484K.
– It is not very surprising that it happens, but it is worrying that this mutation, which we know well from the Brazilian and South African virus, appears on the British virus, says assistant health director Espen Rostrup Nakstad.
The mutation makes these mutated viruses less sensitive to antibodies.
– You are worried about both the vaccine effect and the antibody effect, if you have been ill before, says Nakstad.
He adds that the vaccines that are in use in Norway now, for the time being, seem to work well on the Brazilian and South African mutations.
It is more uncertain whether the effect is reduced on the British variant, when it has received this additional mutation.
– It is worrying, and it may mean that you have to adjust to vaccines in the future, even if you have received the vaccine in the first place, Nakstad says.
When they mutate on the same virus, the virus acquires properties that make it both spread easily and can resist vaccines and antibodies to a disease.
– That combination can mean that such viruses can gain advantages, and then these are the viruses we must focus on in the future when adjusting the vaccine, he says.
Decreased sensitivity to antibodies does not necessarily mean that the vaccines have no effect. However, it may mean that they have reduced effectiveness against this virus variant.
The British coronavirus variant, with the E484K mutation, has previously only been detected in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.