A new coronavirus variant branded ‘Covid 22’ could be more dangerous than the Delta variant, a Covid expert has warned.

Immunologist Professor Doctor Sai Reddy has issued the stark warning over a new Covid strain.

The scientist, who is based in Europe, warned the new strain could become the most dangerous and warned we face a “big risk”.

He said: “Covid-22 could get worse than what we are witnessing now.

“If such a variant appears, we have to recognise it as early as possible and the vaccine manufacturers have to adapt the vaccine quickly.

"The emergence of this new variant is the big risk. We have to prepare for it.”

He added: “It is the next phase of the pandemic when Beta or Gamma become more infectious, or Delta develops escape mutations. That will be the big problem for the coming year.”

Covid vaccine delivery

The warning as another 35 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are due to be delivered to the UK in the second half of next year as a way to “future-proof” the jabs programme, the Health Secretary said.

Sajid Javid said the extra doses are part of “robust preparations” to ensure the country’s safety “for years to come” against Covid-19.

The Department of Health (DH) said it is planning for any future booster programmes to protect against the virus and its variants.

No official decision has been given yet on a potential rollout of third doses, but plans are in place to enable a booster programme to begin in early September, alongside the flu jab, if advised.

Last week Mr Javid said he is “confident” a booster campaign can start next month.