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British corona mutation: Prof. Kern explains why B1.1.7 helps contain pandemics

Almost 100 percent of the infections in Germany can be traced back to a British mutation

The British mutation of the corona virus and its rapid spread caused great resentment. The virus variant B1.1.7 was first detected in Germany in December and now accounts for almost 100 percent of all coronavirus infections in this country. According to Professor Peter Kern, Head of the Clinic for Immunology at the Fulda Clinic, there is no need to worry - on the contrary: "B1.1.7 is the best thing that could have happened to us," he explains in an interview with NTV.

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"P1 and B1.351 couldn't gain a foothold next to her"

Mutations are always an issue, especially when it comes to vaccination against the coronavirus. One thing is certain: the vaccines, which were originally produced to combat the primordial type, also protect against the British variant.

Professor Kern explains why the mutant is not only not a big cause for concern, but a blessing for containing the pandemic: "B.1.1.7 is the best thing that could have happened to us. It was detected and made for the first time in Germany at Christmas now practically 99 percent of all isolates. So she has completely taken over the field, we no longer see the original variant, but - and that's lucky - P1 and B1.351 also couldn't gain a foothold next to her. It is much more contagious , but it's probably hardly more deadly - there are currently conflicting studies on that. "

"With B1.1.7 we have saved valuable time for our vaccination campaign"

And that is especially important in relation to the vaccination campaign. The rapid spread of the British mutation prevented other virus variants such as P1 from Brazil and B.1.351 from South Africa, for which vaccination may not provide sufficient protection, from spreading: "B1.1.7 saved us valuable time for our vaccination campaign", says Prof. Kern.

What happens if a mutation occurs against which our immunity no longer works?

But what happens if a mutation resistant to the vaccination manages to spread and hits the vaccinated and convalescent? According to Professor Kern, the emergence of new mutants cannot be prevented, the decisive factor is whether they manage to spread: "It would have to start from scratch and would take time, and we would have this time to locate it, take measures and create a new one To develop a vaccine. Therefore: In theory yes, we could overlook a mutant, but in practice the problem is manageable. "

A certain protective effect through vaccination or surviving infection ensures that the spread of mutations is contained

In addition, there is a certain protective effect against mutations through immunization in the form of a vaccination or a survived infection, so that the spread would probably take place more slowly: "It will most likely not develop completely fatal variants, but those that lead to coexistence and each other not so different from what we already know. "

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