‘It’s almost certain’: An even more elusive and potentially more dangerous variant than Delta is likely to emerge, scientists warn

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Credit: Atlantic
Credit: Atlantic

An analysis by British academics, published by the UK Government’s official scientific advisory group, says that they believe it is “almost certain” that a SARS-Cov-2 variant will emerge that “leads to current vaccine failure.” SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes Covid-19.

The analysis has not been peer-reviewed, the early research is theoretical, and does not provide any proof that such a variant is in circulation now. Documents like it are released “as pre-print publications that have provided the government with rapid evidence during an emergency.”

The scientists write that because eradication of the virus is “unlikely,” they have “high confidence” that variants will continue to emerge… They recommend that authorities continue to reduce virus transmission as much as possible to reduce the chance of a new, vaccine-resistant variant.

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The goal, they say, should be “to reduce infection of and transmission from vaccinated individuals,” and to “reduce the possibility of variant selection in vaccinated individuals.” Research is already underway at several companies that make the Covid-19 vaccines to address new variants.

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