New variants will hinder but not stop our battle against Covid
Effective vaccines are coming to the rescue, but a lot more work must be done by scientists, governments and the public
The next steps will be to develop new vaccines that prevent infection with emerging virus variants, as well as prevent infection and transmission of the existing virus strains. Photograph: Getty Images
Thanks to vaccines it looks like we will win the war against Covid-19, but the rules of engagement have changed as a result of the emergence of variants, and it could be a long and rocky road before we are out of the woods and back to “normality”.
Many viruses are susceptible to mutation as they rapidly multiply inside human cells, allowing new variants to emerge. This has facilitated more transmissible virus variants, notably in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, to become dominant.