A new, more infectious variant of COVID from South Africa has been shown to evade antibodies in a preliminary study, prompting fears vaccines may not work against it. However, experts have stressed the study, although well-conducted, must be approached with caution. Scientists at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa set out to understand whether antibodies, including those taken from the blood of people who recovered from the original form of COVID, can neutralize the new variant named 501Y.V2. The variant has nine changes in the spike protein COVID uses to invade the body. It emerged in South Africa in the second half of 2020 and has so far appeared in over a dozen countries including the U.K., Switzerland, Finland, Japan, Australia, Zambia, France, South Korea, and Austria. It has not been reported in the U.S., although Dr. Anthony Fauci , the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Newsweek earlier this month … [Read more...] about South Africa COVID variant study prompts questions about vaccines: “We must not panic”
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Moderna's vaccine should be effective against all COVID-19 mutations but may require a booster to protect against the variant first detected in South Africa, the US biotechnology company said. The firm said its early laboratory tests showed the vaccine did trigger sufficient quantities of antibodies to fight all key emerging variants of the virus. But in the South Africa case, it is developing a booster “out of an abundance of caution”. A Moderna announcement on Monday said this was because its tests had observed a six-fold reduction in neutralising antibodies compared to other variants. The vaccine is effective against a separate variant identified in Britain, it added. “We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants,” said Moderna's chief executive Stéphane Bancel. COVID vaccine: Moderna jab given the green light by European Medicines … [Read more...] about Moderna vaccine should work against UK and South Africa COVID variants
The first ever Winter Love Island is due to begin in the new year with a new batch of singletons looking for romance. Swapping the doom and gloom in the UK for a warmer climate, the Islanders will move into a brand new villa far away from the Mallorca pad used in the summer series. Host Caroline Flack has already flown out to tour the home whilst shooting promotional material for the show. Here’s what you need to know about the Winter Love Island villa. Where is the Winter Love Island villa? The new villa can be found in an exclusive neighbourhood in Cape Town, South Africa . Construction work on the property is well underway and looks to be even more lavish than the Spanish villa and twice the size, Mail Online reports. However many areas in the not-so-humble abode will be recognisable to fans, such as the daybeds, fire pit and roof terrace. Winter Love Island bosses are rumoured to be shelling out R2 million (£104,000) a month, for four months … [Read more...] about Winter Love Island: Where is the villa in South Africa?
Owen Farrell has been fast-tracked on to the British and Irish Lions' bench against Japan as Warren Gatland reveals a squad poll identified the England captain as the talisman of the tourists' leadership group. For the first time since 1950, the Lions have picked a starting XV devoid of England players with four Scots - Duhan van der Merwe, Rory Sutherland, Zander Fagerson and Hamish Watson - selected for Saturday's Edinburgh appointment. While none of Eddie Jones' men have made the team, four have been selected among the replacements including Farrell, who only six days ago helped Saracens seal their return to the Gallagher Premiership. No England players in XV as Jones leads Lions vs Japan Boks' Tests against Georgia to be shown on Sky Sports Be part of our virtual audience & roar with the Lions! Farrell will provide fly-half cover for Dan Biggar and will depart for South Africa on Sunday knowing he has the full backing of his peers. "I've spoken … [Read more...] about British & Irish Lions: Owen Farrell backed by coach Warren Gatland to have ‘great tour’ of South Africa
The first edition of the tournament will commence from August 30. The tournament will be played between six franchises and jointly hosted by Ireland, Netherland, and Scotland, reports ESPNcricinfo. Shortly after the competition was announced, six cricketers -- Shahid Afridi, Chris Lynn, Shane Watson, Babar Azam, Brendon McCullum and Luke Ronchi -- were designated as icon/marquee players by the league. Star players like Eoin Morgan, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir and Rashid Khan have joined the tournament and more high-profile cricketers are expected to join the league. The 36-year-old pacer was ruled out of the ongoing World Cup in England and Wales without playing a single match for South Africa. He had picked up a shoulder injury during the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he played only two matches for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). … [Read more...] about South African speedster Dale Steyn joins Euro T20 Slam as ‘marquee player’