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In a statement issued 7 November, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that a Covid-19 mutation had been detected at mink farms in several countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands Spain, Sweden, Italy and the US.

Speaking about the new strain of Covid-19, called “Cluster 5”, the WHO said “severity and transmission among those infected are similar to that of other circulating SARS-CoV-2 viruses”, but it might have “moderately decreased sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies”. Therefore, this could undermine the effectiveness of any future vaccine against Covid-19. Furthermore, the WHO said that “the implications of the identified changes in this variant are not yet well understood”.

In Denmark, 12 people have been found to have the new mink-related strain of the virus in the northern tip of Jutland. 4 November, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had ordered the slaughter of all herds of mink throughout the country following the discovery of the new strain.

Meanwhile, 9 November pharmaceutical companies Pfizer (US) and BioNTech (Germany) announced that they had developed a vaccine 90% “effective” at protecting from Covid-19 infections according a current major test, which is the last stage prior to requesting official approval. We remind you that no Covid-19 vaccine has been officially validated as yet for mass commercial distribution.

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