Future Covid variants may pose a threat, warns Sajid Javid

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Downing Street said it is monitoring the AY4.2 version of the coronavirus, but there is no evidence it spreads more easily

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ajid javido has warned of the potential danger of future coronavirus variants.

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The health secretary gave his warning as he urged people to get vaccinated and be offered a booster jab.

Downing Street Said this week it was monitoring AY4.2 version – Descendants of Coronavirus delta A variety of cases are being looked at – but stressed that there is no evidence that it spreads more easily.

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Mr Javid said Covid-19 mutates like any virus, and added that new forms are being identified “all the time”.

“This includes a new version of the Delta version, currently known as AY4.2, and that new version is now spreading,” he told a Downing Street press briefing.

“And there’s no reason to believe at this point that AY4.2 poses a bigger threat than the next version, or the one after that, could.

“So we need to be prepared for what is around the corner. That means our ongoing program of booster jabs is very important, and this winter we are prioritizing the most needy.

“Today we reach the milestone of 4 million top-up jobs England But we need to protect even more people.

“We’ve got jabs, we just need weapons to keep them in.”

scientists stated that the AY4.2 spike carries two specific mutations in Y145H and A222V, both of which have been found in various other coronavirus lineages since the start of the pandemic.

However, they have remained at a low frequency so far.

The first strains to carry both mutations were sequenced in April 2020 and are found in either strain of concern.

AY4.2 is rare outside the UK and only three cases have been detected in the US so far.

Work is underway to test whether it can be less well recognized by antibodies.

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