This new variant, B.1.525, was discovered in both the United Kingdom and Nigeria, and is now in 11 other countries including the United States.
B.1.525 is a new coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) variant, which was first discovered in Europe and Africa in December, and is now in the United States.
According to a BBC report, this new variant has a mutation found in both the Brazilian and South African variants, which may aid the virus in evading antibodies.
Thus far, all the vaccines being tested in South Africa have shown less effectiveness in preventing COVID-19. Although Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) vaccine has not been authorized or approved in any country, South Africa made the decision to use their vaccine. The J&J vaccine was being studied last year in the country, so this is part of the reason for prompting policy makers to use it now.
Along with the discovery of the B.1.525 variant in the US, it was reported earlier this week of another variant B.1.2 variant, in the south and southwestern part of the country.
Still it is too early, cautions experts, to assess if the B.1.525 leads to greater transmissibility and more severe disease.