What we know about the UK and South African variant of the Coronavirus

There are actually a large number of variants or versions of the Coronavirus that are around the world. Viruses commonly mutate and change, this is not new. The three main variants that people are watching and are concerned about are referred to as the UK variant as it was first identified in the UK also known as B.1.1.7, the South African variant B.1.351 and then the Brazilian variant P.1 too. The UK variant is actually the dominant one in many parts of Britain and has spread to over 50 countries around the world. The South African variant has now been seen in at least 20 more countries. More people are choosing to buy prescriptions medicines for less online to avoid these variants and here is a look at why.

Are the new variants more dangerous?

They are more of a concern because they are more infectious and more likely to lead to people with underlying health issues requiring health care. Some research is suggesting that the UK variant comes with a 30% higher chance of death but so far the evidence is not conclusive. The increase in spreading more easily is a problem because if people are not following the advice to mask up, social distance and wash hands, more people will get infected.

What are the variants doing?

As mentioned viruses mutate so they can survive and spread. Experts were expecting there to be variants of the virus. The concern was always what impact that would have on infection rates, hospital rates, death rates and how effective vaccinations would be. All three of these variants went through a change to their spike protein so that it was able to better attach to human cells. The UK variant was first thought to be as high as 70% more infectious but now experts are suggesting that might be more around 50%. The Brazil and South African variants are also the same but have experts even more concerned by a mutation that also allows these variants to evade areas of the immune system. This might mean some of the vaccines will not be as effective. This is why they sent back some of the vaccines they received.To avoid this extra infectious variant, buy prescriptions medicines for less online.

Will vaccines still work?

So far the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine are proving to work against these variants, though very slightly at reduced effectiveness. The AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective against the South African variant which is why some countries have sent those vaccines on to other countries. With the Moderna vaccine, they have found the immune response might not last as long as against other variants. Vaccines can be tweaked to better work against any other new variants that come in the future. It could be that each year people will need a new shot to protect them, much as we do for the flu.