Recently a new strain of the coronavirus has been identified which has been said to be ‘70% more transmissible’ to other people and began in the south of England. Scientists also believed that people ignoring the current restrictions that were put in place played a role in the sudden growth of the variant.

The new strain was first identified in September and in November around a quarter of London cases were the new variant. The virus is now efficient in affecting children as well as adults according to the recent data.

There has been a surge in the number of coronavirus cases due to this new strain with many hospitals running out of beds. Patients have even had to take treatment in ambulances as NHS staff struggle to find spare vacancies.

Queen’s hospital in Barking has had 95% of their 900 beds occupied and four theatres closed for routine operations.

With Christmas plans already cancelled this year’s streak of bad luck continues. However, this new strain is not expected to be more dangerous or deadly and will not develop a resistance to the vaccine. It is still too soon to determine whether the new strain will affect the behaviour of the virus. The new variant can still be detected by the regular swab tests and there are many test sites located in different areas.

Symptoms of the virus remain the same:

High temperature

New, continuous cough


News of the first Pfizer vaccine spread rapidly and now the University of Oxford has announced that the third phase of testing their vaccine has been successful contributing to the ‘brighter side’ of things. Both vaccines require two doses.

The Pfizer vaccine efficacy was 52% after the first dose and 95% after the second dose. It also proves 94% effective among adults aged 65 and over. The Oxford trials proved to be 62% effective after two doses. However, after people were given a half dose and then a full dose around a month later the efficacy grew to become 90%. Many still believe the vaccine should not be taken and fear for any later effects. Anyone, whether pregnant or with allergies can safely take the vaccine.