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Covid live: UK to bring in new measures after Omicron variant detected; Israel bans oversea visitors – as it happened

Masks to be mandatory in shops and on public transport in Britain; Israel closes border initially for 14 days

The UK should cut the gap between the second dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and the booster jab from six to five months, the Labour party said on Saturday, Reuters reports.

As the new Omicron variant sparked concern around the world, Alex Norris, Labour’s junior health spokesperson, said:

This new variant is a wake-up call.

The pandemic is not over. We need to urgently bolster our defences to keep the virus at bay.

If you look at where most of the mutations are, they are similar to regions of the spike protein that have been seen with other variants so far and that tells you that despite mutations existing in other variants, the vaccines have continued to prevent very severe disease as we’ve moved through Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.

At least from a speculative point of view we have some optimism that the vaccine should still work against this variant for severe disease but really we need to wait several weeks to have that confirmed.

The processes of how one goes about developing a new vaccine are increasingly well oiled.

So if it’s needed that is something that could be moved very rapidly.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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