The new corona mutation that has appeared in South Africa is causing concern among experts. The current vaccines may be less effective against variant B.1.1.529, according to British researchers.
Munich – A new Corona variant * worries the experts. The mutation B.1.1.529 that occurred in South Africa is possibly even more contagious than the currently prevailing delta variant. And: According to British experts, the currently available Corona * vaccines are “almost certainly” less effective against the new variant.
Biontech * is examining a possible adaptation to the mutant. Susan Hopkins, a researcher at Imperial College London, described the mutation as “the most worrying we have ever seen.” Virologist Christian Drosten * warns of panic: more data are needed to assess.
Has the corona mutant already arrived in Europe?
Yes, it was found in Belgium * on a traveler who had returned from Egypt. In Israel, virologists found them in an infected person who had traveled from Malawi. Germany has declared South Africa a virus variant area. As of Saturday, airlines will only be allowed to carry German citizens to Germany; all returnees from South Africa must be in quarantine.
New Corona variant: Why are the experts concerned?
“The thing is armed to the teeth,” said Friedemann Weber, head of the Institute for Virology in Giessen. The virus brings with it a “huge bouquet of mutations”, with more than 30 in the spike protein alone. Some of the mutations found are already known to weaken the effect of antibodies.
What does this mean for vaccination protection?
“Since the vaccines are efficient against all previous variants, I assume that there is also vaccination protection against this variant,” says Richard Neher, head of the research group Evolution of Viruses and Bacteria at the University of Basel. “However, it is quite conceivable that there will be more breakthrough infections, so that a third dose * will be all the more important.” Biontech expects to know more about any necessary adjustments to the vaccine in two weeks at the latest.
What happens to South Africa vacationers?
According to the industry association DRV, trips to southern Africa are being canceled or rebooked. According to the DRV, there are currently around 400 guests with German tour operators in southern Africa.
What is Europe doing in the face of the new mutant?
The EU Commission wants to keep trips from southern Africa * to the EU to a minimum. Great Britain and Israel had already stopped air traffic to the states in the region as a precaution. Lufthansa will continue to fly for the time being, “also to bring people home and transport cargo,” said a spokesman. The World Health Organization recommends scientifically based risk assessments before travel restrictions are imposed.
How is the stock market reacting?
The values on the Frankfurt and London stock exchanges collapsed by three percent. The shares of airlines and tourism companies were particularly the losers. (KR) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA
List of rubric lists: © Denis Farrell / AP / dpa
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