Discovery of new COVID-19 variants shouldn't cause concern, says CT virologist

International researchers have reportedly discovered the strains in at least three provinces in the country.

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CAPE TOWN - Cape Town-based virologist, Professor Burtram Fielding, has warned that the discovery of new COVID-19 variants should not cause concern or panic.

International researchers have reportedly discovered the strains in at least three provinces in the country.

READ: Novavax vaccine offers protection against COVID-19 variants found in SA, UK

According to News24, the new variants have been detected in Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay.

Fielding said that the findings came as no surprise.

"This coronavirus mutates all the time so anytime we go looking for variants, we will find them. The variants that are being highlighted are important because they could interfere with the function of our vaccines."

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He explained that each time a new vaccine was introduced, it needed to be tested for, among others, new variants.

"We also need to keep in mind that these vaccines are also then tested in different population groups because the age of the person receiving the vaccine, the genetic makeup of the person, the medication the person is on all of those could impact on the effectiveness of the vaccine, not the efficacy."

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