The New COVID-19 Strain Briefly Explained

Epicentre News • 03 Feb 2021

What is the new COVID-19 strain:

The new strain also known as the 501Y. V2 variant or the South African strain is the COVID-19 virus with a mutation on the protein spike it uses to enter our cells. This new mutation among others allows this new strain to bind more readily and more strongly to human cells making it more easily transferable.

Is the new strain causing the second wave to spread faster:

Yes, according to evidence from areas in which the new strain is the main COVID-19 variant that is affecting people, the new strain is spreading 50% faster than the original strain.

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.