Top English medic hopeful new variant of concern will not escape vaccines

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Britain's PM Johnson holds a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - A new coronavirus variant of concern known as B.1.617.2, first identified in India, appears to be less likely to be vaccine resistant than other variants, English Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Monday.

Whitty said the B.1.617.2 variant was a concern and health officials were keeping a close eye on it.

"Our view is that this is a highly transmissible variant... (but) at this point in time, our view is it is less likely to be able to escape vaccination than some of the other variants," he said at a news conference.

"But the data are not properly in there. So I think we need to be cautious until we've seen clear data that give us an answer one way or the other."

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Costas Pitas)

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