February 9 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Kara Fox, Christopher Johnson and Rob Picheta, CNN

Updated 6:29 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021
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8:05 p.m. ET, February 8, 2021

South Africa Covid-19 variant does not appear to be more transmissible, British health expert says

From CNN’s Amy Cassidy

British analysis does not suggest that the South African coronavirus variant is more transmissible than other variants, England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said Monday.

Van-Tam’s analysis was based on “early data on modelling” the variant, he said. 

He contrasted the South Africa variant with what he referred to as the Kent variant -- referred to internationally as the UK variant -- which he said does have a transmissibility advantage. 

Some context: Van-Tam’s comments come a day after South Africa paused its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine after early data from a study showed that it offered "minimal protection" against mild or moderate illness caused by the more contagious virus variant first identified there, known as B.1.351.