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January 28
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Matt Hancock on Monday  revealed he is “incredibly worried” about the highly-infectious South African coronavirus mutation which top experts fear could scupper Britain's vaccine rollout, The. Daily Mail reported. 

The Health Secretary warned the variant—which has already been spotted in the UK—posed a “very, very significant problem.”

Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, argued the South African variant was more concerning than the Kent one because it has “pretty substantial changes in the structure of the protein,” meaning vaccines could fail to work.

COVID vaccines—including the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford University/AstraZeneca jabs currently being rolled out across Britain— work by training the body to spot the virus's spike protein.

If the spike mutates so much that it becomes unrecognizable, it could render vaccines useless, or make them less potent. 

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