Emmanuel Macron discusses the vaccine rollout in France
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France has seen a sharp rise in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks, resulting in another national lockdown. Scientists have reported a new variant in Paris, which appears to be more transmissible. Will the new mutation be resistant to the Covid vaccines?
France has one of the highest infection rates in Europe at the moment.
It’s in the middle of a dreaded third wave, triggered by the UK variant of the virus.
More than half of the country’s cases have been confirmed as the same variant that was first spotted in Kent.
Now, experts have warned of a new variant in Paris that has 18 mutations.
There have, so far, been only a few cases of this variant, but it’s believed to be spreading quickly.
Four cases were first spotted in Creteil – a suburb of Paris, according to France Inter.
They were followed by 30 cases in the southwest of France, in the Dordogne region.
Since then, the new variant has also been spotted in north-west France, and cases have quickly risen to more than 190.
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Is the new Covid variant resistant to vaccines?
There’s currently nothing to suggest that there’s any reason to be worried about the vaccine’s effectiveness against the new variant.
All evidence shows the current Covid vaccines are effective against all types of variants, according to The London General Practice GP, Dr Sam Bennett.
But, the UK may see a rise in infections over the next few weeks, he warned.
The unlocking of some Covid restrictions, coupled with the rising infection rates across the continents, could have an impact on UK’s case numbers.
“All current evidence has shown that current vaccines being used in the UK have cross-reactivity with all known variants,” Dr Bennett told Express.co.uk.
“We will almost certainly see a spike in infections due to easing of national lockdown and spillover from Europe.
“However, as almost half the population has now been vaccinated, including the majority of vulnerable people, we should not see any significant increase in hospital admissions, but that remains to be seen.”
French scientists first reported the new Paris variant earlier this week.
Virologist Dr Jean-Michel Pawlotsky told France Inter: “We have identified two mutations which are interesting. The 501Y mutation, which seems linked to an increased transmissibility of the virus.
“And another mutation in position 452, which has been suggested to potentially decrease sensitivity to the effect of vaccination.”
The Covid vaccine is still the best and most effective way to avoid developing coronavirus symptoms.
Everyone aged 50 or over in the UK is now eligible for their coronavirus jab.
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