Brazilian variant of Covid-19 virus

Public health officials are currently investigating the impact of a new Covid variant that originated from Brazil.

There is currently no evidence to suggest any Covid variant cause more serious illness for the vast majority of people who become infected.

The Brazil variant emerged in July and invokes a key mutation – called E48K – that may help the virus evade antibodies, that would have been used by the immune system based on experience from prior infection or a vaccine.

Current vaccines were designed around earlier versions of coronavirus but scientists believe they should still work, although perhaps not quite as well.
• The introduction of two new coronavirus vaccines – one from Novavax and another from Janssen – appear to offer protection too.
• Experts are quick to reassure that vaccines can be redesigned to be a better match against current, and future, coronavirus variants in a matter of weeks or months.


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