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Prof Barry speculated that the sheer number of mutations could lead to the virus being ‘less fit than the Delta variant’ which is known to respond well to vaccines.
The link between the new variant and hospital admissions and deaths is not currently known he said, but many cases so far have been mild – which is a positive side.
He warned that people who are unvaccinated or immunosuppressed could be a threat, if the virus evolves to evade the immune system within them.
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