At just over one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has generated viral variants that differ in their genetic sequence from the strain first detected in December 2019. Evidence is emerging about how these variants differ in their transmission characteristics, associated clinical symptoms, and vaccine efficacy. This document is a brief summary of published evidence about characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 variants that may impact the public health response, including transmission and response to vaccination.
United World Antiviral Research Network (UWARN) Partners Collaborate to Expand Understanding of New COVID Variants, Key to Future Vaccine Development
The recent recognition of new COVID-19 variants, first detected in South Africa (B.1.135, 501Y.V2), Brazil (P1) and the UK (B.1.1.7) – and the variants’ potential to disrupt vaccine effectiveness and protection from prior COVID-19 infection – is an urgent concern that UWARN partners around the globe are collaborating on to understand.