South African scientists reported the discovery of a new coronavirus mutation in the country. Is this variant of SARS-CoV2 dangerous and threatens the efficiency of vaccines developed against COVID-19?
South African Scientists showed that the variant of the coronavirus, called 501.V2, spreads faster than other mutations and can affect the severity of the disease among young people.
South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on his Twitter account that the new variant became dominant in the country and called on young people to be more careful, since for the moment “they don’t bother to observe the rules.”
We have convened this public briefing today to announce that a variant of the SARS-COV-2 Virus- currently termed 501.V2 Variant has been identified by our genomics scientists here in South Africa.#SARSCOV2MediaBriefing— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) December 18, 2020
According to the politician, local doctors have also “warned that things have changed and young people, previously healthy, are becoming very sick.”
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“Young people are urged to take care of themselves and find alternative ways to have fun safely at these parties,” the minister wrote on the social network.
The youth is urged to take care and find alternative ways of having safe fun this festive season.— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) December 18, 2020
According to the other virologist, the coronavirus mutation detected in South Africa has accelerated the spread of the infection. “It is an unpleasant thing, but vaccines are not threatened by this mutation.”
According to experts, at the moment the changes do not have a significant impact on the ability of the virus to overcome the immunity of the vaccine.
A new mutation of the virus had previously been reported from other countries as well, including the UK and Australia.