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A total of 250 active hospital sites, 89 vaccination centers and around 1,200 local vaccination sites – including primary care networks, community pharmacy sites and mobile teams – have been set up to ensure that every person at risk easy access to a vaccination center, whatever the situation. of where they live.

Some 100 million Oxford jabs have been ordered by the government, of which 40 million are expected to be deployed by March. The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency also approved the Moderna vaccine for use on January 8, which will be delivered in the spring.

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But what about the new strain?

Studies suggest that the Oxford / Astrazeneca vaccine may only be 10% effective against the South African strain, but Professor Jonathan Van Tam said the variant is unlikely to become dominant.

The news comes as scientists have discovered that the Kent coronavirus variant is mutating to mimic the South African variant, which could make current vaccines less effective.

Surge testing in areas of Manchester, including Moss Side and Fallowfield, began from February 9 to combat the spread of the Kent variant, after four cases of two unconnected households were discovered. Door-to-door testing will take place for those who cannot make it to the testing centers, as well as testing for those working in the area.

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There have also been 55 cases of a new lineage in Liverpool which appears to be a mutation of the very first ‘A’ strain of the virus, which now carries E484K along with other changes that could make it more transmissible. It has been designated as a “variant under investigation”.

However, Nick Loman, professor of microbial genomics and bioinformatics at the University of Birmingham, said it was unlikely that the new variants could outperform the less dangerous UK variant.

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How has the coronavirus spread around the world?

At the end of December 2019, Chinese authorities sent a public alert warning that “pneumonia of unknown cause” had been identified in Wuhan, in central China.

Some 10 days later, on January 7, scientists announced that a new coronavirus was behind the outbreak – quickly adding that it did not appear to be spreading between humans at the time.

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