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The latest discovery suggests that a certain gene is the fourth most important factor in determining how seriously a person suffers from Covid, after age, weight and gender. The findings were discovered by researchers from the Medical University of Bialystok in Poland, according to a news report by MailOnline.

According to the report, the gene is present in around 14 percent of the Polish population, compared to 8-9 percent in Europe as a whole and 27 percent in India.

The new study led by Professor Marcin Moniuszko, a professor at Medical University of Bialystok echoed the similar sentiments of a study published in November by researchers at Oxford University.

In that study, the researchers identified the gene responsible for doubling the risk of respiratory failure from Covid, called LZTFL1.

The LZTFL1 gene is present in 60 percent of South Asians and allows the virus to multiply in the lungs easier.

Poland and several other countries in central and eastern Europe are battling their latest surges of coronavirus cases and deaths while continuing to record much lower vaccination rates than in western Europe.

The new study may help in ramping up the vaccinations across Poland which, at the moment, is facing a major vaccination hesitancy.

Vaccine hesitancy is a major factor behind high coronavirus death rates in central and eastern Europe.

According to the latest data, 56.2 percent of the Polish population are fully vaccinated, compared with 71.1 percent in the UK and 62.7 percent in the US.

The situation has created a dilemma for Poland’s government, which has urged citizens to get vaccinated.

Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said: “After more than a year and a half of work it was possible to identify a gene responsible for a predisposition to becoming seriously ill [with coronavirus].

“This means that in the future we will be able to… identify people with a predisposition to suffer seriously from Covid.”

In December, Niedzielski pointed out that of the 1,085 people under 44 who died of Covid in Poland in 2021, only 3 percent were fully vaccinated.

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At that time he said: “This black statistic could be different thanks to vaccination.”

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