Is the new strain more severe:
There is no evidence that the new strain is more severe
When looking at hospital admissions and in hospital deaths like those above it often looks much worse when not taken in the context of the massive increase of positives.
As can be seen here
Can you rely on natural immunity to the original COVID-19 variant to protect you from the new strain:
Published convalescent serum studies suggest that natural antibodies may be less effective. Vaccine antibodies are different therefore they may or may not be impacted
Will the new strain affect the vaccine:
Although there are many scientists that are still working on answering this definitively. At this stage vaccines like Pfizer & Moderna are among the most effective vaccines we have for any disease. At the end of the day they achieve important goals they reduce clinical illness & hospitalisation.
Should you call the new strain the South African strain:
The new variant should be called “501Y.V2” & not “South African” variant just like “SARS-CoV-2” is not called “China virus” nor is it “Kung flu” as Trump so eloquently put it.