GOOD Morning Britain’s Dr Hilary Jones has shared his fears over the new South African Covid strain and says there will be MORE variants in the future.
Dr Hilary Jones has warned the new Covid strain is a ‘great concern’
Vaccines are said to be up to a third less effective on the new strain, with vaccine firm Moderna admitting the South African Covid variant reduces its jab’s antibody levels six-fold
Dr Hilary said: “Because it is more transmissible, it will spread more readily, and there are fears it could be a third more resistant to our current vaccinations, so that is of great concern.
“And that’s why 80,000 people are being asked to come forward and accept PCR tests to find out if it is more prevalent in those areas.
“The only way to prevent more variants coming in is to quarantine everybody, in mandatory fashion, self-isolate them, test them, don’t release them until they test negative on more than one occasion.”
A door-to-door testing blitz on up to 350,000 people has been launched after 11 rogue cases of Covid’s South African mutation were found in the UK
He added: “Unless the quarantine is mandatory and under surveillance in hotels, people don’t quarantine.
“There are 21,000 people coming through our airports every day, they are not being quarantined and they may have the South African variant, they may have other variants.”
Transmission of the South African variant has been found at eight postcodes — in London, Surrey, Kent, Hertfordshire, the West Midlands and Merseyside.
Boris Johnson visits a vaccination centre in Batley, West YorkshireCredit: AP:Associated Press
On a visit to the Al Hikmah vaccination centre in Batley, West Yorks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We are confident all the vaccines we are using provide a high degree of immunity and protection against all variants.”
He said they could be adapted if necessary — but experts remain fearful. South Africa’s is a concern after a study showed its resistance to past infection immunity.
Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned it could be “a virus that can escape some of the immune effects of antibodies”.
Novavax’s jab was also 60 per cent effective in South African trials, compared with 89 per cent here.
Janssen’s was 72 per cent effective in US-based studies, falling to 57 per cent in South Africa.
Pfizer’s trials predate the mutation, but its scientists have since revealed they think it will be effective, as do Moderna’s.