The U.K. variant, which has been identified across the U.S.as well as in countries from South Korea to Canada, is thought to be 57 per cent to 70 per cent more transmissible than other strains of the virus.
To find out how mutation may affect vaccines, the study authors compared how a virus with the new mutation coped with the vaccine compared with an earlier version of the coronavirus that did not carry this new mutation.
THE NUMBERS: According to data through January 7 from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the USA rose over the past two weeks from 2,595.1 on December 24 to 2,764.1 on January 7.
"We have tested 16 different mutations and none of them have really had any significant impact (on the efficacy of the vaccine)".
Fortin adds that another 170,000 doses are expected during the first week of February, then delivery will begin to scale up.
The analysis was based on 196 cases, of which 185 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the placebo group versus 11 cases observed in the active vaccine group.
"This is further great news and another weapon in our arsenal to tame this very bad disease", he said.
"(The) Oxford (vaccine is) not yet here, but when it is it will be offered to them", the doctor said.
"While these efforts continue, we are working with authorized test developers and reviewing incoming data to ensure that health care providers and clinical staff can quickly and accurately diagnose patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, including those with emerging genetic variants", FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said.
Hancock spoke after the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University was rolled out in doctors' surgeries from Thursday.
Both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines require two doses to receive maximum effectiveness of the drug.
This preliminary new study is giving us early evidence that a COVID-19 vaccine might be effective against two new coronavirus variants first identified in South Africa and the United Kingdom, despite a concerning mutation.
When the vaccines arrive in Britain, they will "help to ease any bottlenecks or delays in the administration programme", according to Dr Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton.
"So, yes this is good news, but it does not yet give us total confidence that the Pfizer (or other) vaccines will definitely give protection". The CDC says the study shows why it's important for everyone to behave as if they could transmit the virus, whether they are sick or not.
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