A tale of two variants
This bulletin discusses the emergence of two new variants of SARS-CoV-2 in the UK and South Africa. Mutation of SARS-CoV-2 is common and has been under ongoing monitoring by scientists since the first genome was sequenced and released in January 2020. However, the two new variants, which share a common mutation, show cause for concern. Scientists studying these variants believe increased transmission risk is plausible but are not yet clear on the impact on severity of the disease, reinfection risk and importantly, the efficacy of vaccines.