Evidence of a new Covid variant with higher mortality


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference on the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Downing Street on 15 January 2021 in London, England.

Dominic Lipinski | Getty Images

LONDON – There is “some evidence” that a new version of Covid, first identified in the UK, could be more deadly than the original tribe, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday.

“Today, we learned that in addition to the faster spread, there now appears to be evidence that the new version – the version first discovered in London and the South East (England) – may be associated with a higher mortality rate,” Johnson said in a at a press conference.

He added that all the evidence suggests that the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford University currently in use in the UK are still effective against old and new versions of the virus.

The evidence is still being prepared and is being assessed by the Advisory Group on New and New Respiratory Viruses, which is advising the UK government.

A B.1.1.7. The variant known as contains an unusual number of mutations and is associated with more efficient and faster transmission.

Scientists first discovered this mutation in September. The version of concern has since been discovered in at least 44 countries, including the United States, which reported a presence in 12 states.

Last week, the U.S. Center for Disease Prevention and Control warned that the modeled trajectory of the version in the U.S. “will show rapid growth in early 2021, becoming the dominant variant in March.”