We break down what’s known about the new UK COVID variant: what it is, what’s meant by ‘more transmissible’, and potential effects on vaccine efficacy.
A new COVID variant in the UK is reported to be 71% more transmissible than ‘wild type’ virus [00:01:45];
The epidemiologic data on the new variant [00:03:09];
NERVTAG has ‘moderate confidence’ of increased transmissibility [00:04:56];
UK technical briefing shows no increase in 28 day mortality for new variant (at least so far) [00:06:02]
A South African variant shows similar behavior as UK virus [00:06:45];
Potential effects of new variant mutations on vaccine efficacy [00:09:00];
Another variant (though not becoming dominant) has shown ability to evade some antibodies.
So far, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines appear effective against previous mutations.
It’s still unknown how the new mutation will impact vaccine efficacy.
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