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A worker at a coronavirus testing site in London on Feb. 10, 2021. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Studies show the coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom is "likely" more lethal than the original strain, scientists with the British government said in an assessment released Friday.

Why it matters: The more contagious B.1.1.7 variant has been discovered in 82 countries, including the United States, according to the New York Times.

  • Cases of the new variant may be doubling in the U.S. nearly every 10 days and could the dominant version of the virus in the country by March, according to a study published by MedRxiv this week.

Details: In the new assessment, the British scientists estimate that the variant could be 30% to 70% deadlier than the original strain.

  • But they added that they would need more data on deaths in more extensive studies before they could definitively conclude that the variant is deadlier.
  • The new development comes roughly two months after British government warned that the B.1.1.7 variant is more more transmissible than other forms of the virus.

The big picture: Moderna and Pfizer have both found that their vaccines are effective against the U.K. variant and another variant first discovered in South Africa.

Go deeper: New coronavirus variants may lead to a longer, deadlier pandemic

Go deeper

Jun 11, 2021 - Health

G7 commits to sending 1 billion COVID vaccine doses to lower-income countries

Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

The Group of 7 wealthy nations on Friday pledged to deliver more than 1 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine to lower-income countries beginning this summer.

Why it matters: The G7 countries have been criticized for not sharing vaccines with nations that have fewer resources and are struggling to contain new waves of the pandemic.

Jun 11, 2021 - Health

FDA clears 10 million J&J vaccine doses from contaminated Baltimore plant

Emergent BioSolutions ruined 15 million of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses back in March. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it's allowing for the release of two batches of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine made at the Emergent BioSolutions facility in Baltimore, where 100 million doses had been set aside for review after an accidental contamination.

Why it matters: The two authorized batches amount to approximately 10 million doses of J&J's single-shot vaccine, according to AP. The doses could end up being used in the U.S. or exported to other countries.