Russia claims its Covid-19 vaccine is ‘highly effective’ against mutant

Russia has claimed its coronavirus vaccine is able to treat the new mutant strain of the virus.

The country claims its Sputnik V jab was the first registered worldwide and now it claims the injection is "highly effective" against the new strain spreading across Europe.

According to Kirill Dimitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund – the country's sovereign wealth fund – it is as effective against the new mutation as it is against the existing strain.

He said: "Sputnik V has repeatedly shown its effectiveness, despite previous mutations in the S-protein."

Earlier Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov revealed that Russia is following the latest information coming from British scientists, adding that any reaction would be taken by the government's coronavirus task force.

British government scientists are still doing tests on the new strain to determine what impact the development will have on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that has been rolled out in the UK.

They are hopeful the jab will still work but it is feared the mutation could be up to 70% more contagious than the original strain. There is currently no data to suggest it is more deadly.

  • Tier 4: Areas in England most likely to go into lockdown restrictions next

The discovery of the new strain in the UK has thrown Christmas plans into disarray after the government placed London and most of the south east into a new Tier 4 lockdown.

It means around 20 million people will no longer be able to form festive bubbles to spend Christmas with their family and friends.

Dozens of countries have also banned flights arriving from the UK as fears rose over the new strain.

It includes the whole of the EU and much of the Middle East and Latin America.

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