New Covid strain has ‘striking’ amount of mutations: Scientists discover 17 changes on crucial spike protein of evolved virus spreading through London and the South East


  • COG-UK group investigating new Covid strain described  17 mutations as ‘a lot’
  • Many changes occurred on virus’s spike protein, which it uses to latch onto cells
  • Most vaccines, including Pfizer’s, work by targeting this 

By CONNOR BOYD ASSISTANT HEALTH EDITOR and SAM BLANCHARD SENIOR HEALTH REPORTER FOR MAILONLINE 

The new strain of coronavirus spreading through Britain has a ‘striking’ amount of mutations, scientists have claimed.

Many of the changes have occurred on the virus’s spike protein, which it uses to latch onto human cells and cause illness.

Alterations to the spike are significant because most Covid vaccines in the works, including Pfizer/BioNTech’s approved jab, work by targeting this protein.

It is feared these changes could also stop people from becoming immune if they have been infected with a different strain previously.  

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