Inside the unrelenting rampage of Covid-19 variants
10 min read.05 Apr 2021Anirban Mahapatra
New mutated forms of covid-19 are on the rampage. What do we know about them and can vaccines help?
A new, possibly more infectious variant of the novel coronavirus with two amino acid changes in important parts of the spike protein have been found in some viral samples in India
For more than a year, the world has been in the throes a pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus. Towards the end of 2020, we saw a ray of hope with the arrival of safe and effective vaccines that had the potential to significantly reduce the risk of getting sick with covid-19.
At the same time, new mutated forms of the virus, dubbed variants of concern, began to get noticed—first in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7), and then in South Africa (B.1351) and in Brazil (P.1). Since then, many more variants that are also more infectious, can evade immune responses, or do both have emerged globally.