The new variant of the coronavirus detected in the United Kingdom could be infecting citizens of several European countries since a few weeks ago, said Sunday the professor of pharmaco-epidemiology at the University of Oxford, Daniel Prieto Alhambra.

Some twenty million people are confined as of this Sunday in London and its metropolitan area by the increase in Covid-19 infections, apparently due to the mutation of the virus, which the United Kingdom has communicated to the World Health Organization (WHO), a change that makes it more contagious.

Prieto Alhambra, in an interview this Sunday in RAC1, has explained that for a month there has been talk in the scientific community of a possible mutation of the virus, which would now be more contagious, a change that would have been detected in several European countries.

He has indicated that it is still early to indicate if this mutation is the cause of the sudden increase of cases in London, Germany, Italy or Spain, although he has specified that it is almost certain that it is already present in several European countries.

PĂ©rez Alhambra, also a member of the council of experts that advises the European Agency of the Medicine on new vaccines against the virus, has explained that the first signs point to the change in the protein S of the virus, which allows it to hook better and, consequently, be more contagious.

If this fact is confirmed with research studies, one of the consequences, according to Perez Alhambra, is that it would be necessary to vaccinate more people than the one foreseen now to achieve the so-called herd immunity.

On the contrary, he has pointed out, if there are already more people infected but asymptomatic than what the studies now indicate, “we would be wasting vaccines” on people already infected.

Perez Alhambra has predicted that, in any case, it will not be possible to talk about the pandemic starting to be under control until half a year from now, and has called for all people to be vaccinated. “It is safer to get immunity by being vaccinated than by being infected,” he has added.

He has also defended that vaccination should begin with the elderly and workers in essential sectors, especially the health sector, as this will result in fewer hospital admissions due to Covid-19 and a decrease in deaths.

With respect to the Russian vaccine, the professor lamented “the problem of transparency” with which it has been developed, which prevents us from knowing “if shortcuts have been taken”, as has not been the case with the development of “others” that he did not want to specify.

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