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Covid variant with increased resistance to antibodies has been identified at Kentucky nursing home

New Covid-19 variant with increased resistance to antibodies has been identified at a Kentucky nursing home where it has infected 45 residents and workers

  • Strain’s mutations improve ‘transmission, replication, and immune suppression’
  • The Covid variant was first identified in Japan and is known as R.1
  • It shares a spike protein found on the highly infectious Delta variant 
  • The strain ‘is one to watch’ and has already ‘established a foothold in the US’ 


A new Covid variant with increased resistance to antibodies has been identified at a Kentucky nursing home where it has already infected 45 residents and workers.

The strain which originated in Japan is known as R.1 and contains dangerous mutations that improve its ‘transmission, replication, and immune suppression.’

It shares a mutation of the same spike protein which has also been identified in the highly infectious variants originating from Brazil, Britain, India and South Africa.

Infectious disease expert Dr. William Haseltine wrote in Forbes: ‘R.1 is a variant to watch. It has established a foothold in both Japan and the United States.’

Infectious disease expert Dr. William Haseltine said it has infected 45 residents and health workers at a Kentucky nursing home (stock image)

It comes after the FDA approved booster vaccines for adults aged over 65 and for other vulnerable groups.

The agency said that concerns over the infectious Delta variant meant it was necessary to roll-out the shots.

They are available for anyone who has received their last dose at least six months ago.

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