29 Jan, 2021 06:00 am

Are They Really More Deadly? Here's What Scientists Know So Far

Analysis - One certainty during a pandemic is that the virus will mutate. SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is no different. But how concerned should we be about the new variants of the virus that are arising in places such as the UK, South Africa and Brazil? Are they more lethal or more transmissible than the original virus?

As a lot of evidence is currently being collected on both the Kent and South African variants, we shouldn't have to wait long.7 variant, or indeed any of the other variants we're currently aware of, including the South African or Brazilian variants.Here we have some good news, because initial reports for the British and South African variants appear to show that vaccines do still protect us.The South African variant is a slightly different story.

The new study from Moderna found that mutations in the South African variant did affect the ability of vaccine-induced antibodies to incapacitate the virus - showing a six times reduced ability to do so.7 - since dubbed the "British variant" or the "Kent strain".

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