The novel coronavirus variant originally discovered in the United Kingdom has changed again, researchers recently told BBC News.

What happened

The U.K. variant has undergone “worrying” new changes, scientists told BBC News.

Recent tests from Public Health England showed that samples of the U.K. variant had a new mutation — called E484K — that could impact vaccine effectiveness moving forward, according to BBC News.

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  • The numbers: The mutation was seen in 11 out of 214,159 collected samples, BBC News reports.
  • Experts told BBC News that the genetic changes “may help the virus evade parts of the immune system called antibodies.”

More context

Sky News correspondent Thomas Moore said that the new variant has become stronger than previous ones, per The Express. And the mutation is similar to what happened with the South African variant.

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  • “It’s developed a superpower. This is a mutation in the South African variant that seems not only help it infect cells but also to evade the immune system. The reason being that spike protein that all the COVID viruses use to latch onto humans cells changes shapes and that means the antibodies don’t recognise it in quite the same way.”