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Variant Preparedness - New Variants
VARIANT PREPAREDNESS - NEW VARIANTS
New variants are constantly arising, we’ve had Alpha, Delta and Omicron and now Deltacron. It’s simply inevitable that the virus will continue to mutate and create a variety of new variants in the future. How dangerous these will be, only time will tell.
Why we need to keep an eye on this
New variants aren’t necessarily a problem and we shouldn’t panic at every new mutation. It’s important to remember we have a significant wall of immunity through high vaccination rates that should continue to provide protection even against new variants.
The vaccines that were developed against the first form of the virus are still saving lives from the latest variant, Omicron. However, it is possible that new variants could significantly change the behaviour of the virus to make it more deadly, spread more quickly or bypass the protection from either vaccination, or previous infection. All of these could make Covid an even greater threat than what it is today.
What can we do about it?
There are two approaches: minimise mutations, or react when a new variant emerges. There is a risk of mutations every time the virus makes copies of itself so the only way to reduce the risk of variants is to minimise infections at a global level. Instead, the emphasis seems to be on monitoring new variants and reacting accordingly, such as updating vaccines.