More than 40 countries have temporarily suspended some or all travel from the United Kingdom after British health officials announced a highly infectious variant of the novel coronavirus has been spreading in the country.
South Africa has detected a similar variant. The new variant is believed to be 70% more contagious, but health experts say existing vaccines will still be effective against it.
“What’s important to remember is that mutations will naturally happen in the course of a virus that’s in the community and circulating,” says Dr. Taison Bell, critical care and infectious disease physician at the University of Virginia.
“It’s not unexpected to have these changes.” Bell also describes how he received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month.
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