P.He said the variant, known as B.1.621, has shown signs of bypassing the immune response triggered by the vaccines or a previous infection.
In a statement, the agency said: âThere is preliminary laboratory evidence suggesting vaccinations and previous infections may be less effective in preventing infection with [B.1.621].
âHowever, these data are very limited and more research is needed. There is no evidence of this [B.1.621] is more transferable than the dominant delta variant. “
PHE said the variant has “worrying” mutations seen in other dangerous new strains, including South Africa (Beta), Kent (Alpha) and Brazil (Gamma).
As of August 4, a total of 37 confirmed cases of the Colombia variant had been recorded in England.
At least seven of the infected have a travel history, including trips to or through Mexico, Spain, the Dominican Republic and Colombia.
PHE also suggested that stings did not prevent the Delta strain from spreading.
“Some initial results … suggest that virus levels in people who become infected with Delta after they have been vaccinated may be similar to those who have not been vaccinated,” it said.
âThis can have an impact on people’s ability to be infected, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. However, this is an early exploratory analysis and further targeted studies are needed to confirm whether this is the case. “
PHE was still urging the British to get vaccinated.
Almost 47 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
The United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) has now recommended that vaccination should be offered to all 16 and 17 year olds and that children aged 12 to 15 should be vaccinated if they belong to a risk group due to certain health conditions.