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Ask an expert virologist anything about the Covid omicron variant which has arrived in the UK

Ask Dr Stephen Griffin about the prospect of the variant spreading over the coming weeks and months

Wednesday 01 December 2021 20:58

The country is currently bracing itself for the coming weeks as the omicron variant could see a surge in new Covid-19 infections across Britain even bigger than previous waves.

Scientists in the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), which advises Boris Johnson’s government, met last week to discuss the impact of the new variant in the UK.

“We cannot exclude that this wave would be of a magnitude similar, or even larger, than previous waves,” the advisers stated in minutes from the 25 November meeting.

Results of detailed laboratory studies on omicron are expected in the coming weeks, but both Sage and Nervtag groups have warned it is likely the new variant can escape immunity from existing vaccines “to some extent”.

The Nervtag advisers said mutations observed in the variant “include some that are known to be associated with enhanced transmissibility” and are also “highly likely to result in reduced neutralising ability of antibodies”.

To help answer questions around the situation which now faces us with omicron cases having been confirmed in the UK an expert in virology will be on hand on this page to answer your questions.

Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, will be answering your questions about the covid variant in the comments section of this article on Thursday, 2 December, between 1pm and 2pm.

All you have to do is register to submit your question in the comments below. If you’re not already a member, click “sign up” in the comments box to leave your question.

Don’t worry if you can’t see your question - they will be hidden until Dr Griffin joins the conversation to answer them. Then join us live on this page at 1pm as he tackles as many questions as he can.

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