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New virus strain continues to spread across Europe

Coronavirus COVID-19
Posted at 11:58 AM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 11:58:53-05

LANSING, Mich. — France has confirmed its first case of the new strain of coronavirus. Officials say the variant was found Friday in a French resident who had been living in the United Kingdom.

That means that new variant is now in: Britain, France, Sweden, Spain and Japan. France’s new strain has scientists concerned this morning, the country had imposed strict travel restrictions: Truckers from Britain are not allowed in unless they had a negative test, or a negative anti-body test.

With vaccinations set to start today in France, the country is now assessing how to handle the new strain. “We are getting it and making combinations of viruses to be able to directly test, getting sera from people who we have vaccinated and see if it’s still neutralizes this new mutant strain that is coming from the UK, as well as from south Africa,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “There is a similar, but not entirely the same, type of mutation that we’re seeing in South Africa.”

France’s vaccine distribution is set to start this morning and will likely last several months. The first recipients will likely start getting the vaccine in the next week.

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