A new variant of Covid-19 is currently being tracked by scientists around the world. It is said that it may be 10% more infectious than the Delta variant.
In July of this year, experts identified the AY.4.2. Covid-19 variant. It was determined to be an offshoot of the Delta variant which is the dominant variant in both the United Kingdom and South Africa.
Professor Jeffrey Mphahlele, deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation at North West University, says that while we should not be concerned, it must be monitored. He explains that the AY.4.2 is gaining attention because of its association with the Delta variant.
“It’s catching attention because we know that the Delta virus itself is more transmissible so we don't need another version of the delta virus that is even more transmissible than the original delta virus,” added Mphahlele
He says if the AY.4.2. Is 10% and 15% more transmissible than the delta variant is will be worrisome. This as the Delta variant is up to 55% more transmissible than the Alpha variant.
“The fact that it hasn't really spread in the community in the last two to three months in the way that the original delta virus did then, for now, it's just for noting and to keep on monitoring it”, added Mphahlele. He adds that there is no reason why the current vaccines being administered in South Africa won’t be effective against the delta variant.
The health department confirmed that 168 445 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered in South Africa in the past 24 hours. Children between the ages of 12 and 17 years old received over 11 700 doses distributed on Monday.