As the entire world is battling the coronavirus pandemic, a UK minister has revealed that there are more than 4,000 variants of the virus. Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi also urged vaccine developers including Pfizer and AstraZeneca to advance their jabs to overcome the ongoing crisis.
Coronavirus variants raise concerns
While interacting with Sky News, Zahawi revealed that thousands of COVID-19 variants have been detected in several parts of the world as the virus is mutating quickly. However, the super-variants detected in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa are more transmissible than others.
"It is very unlikely that the current vaccine won't be effective on the variants whether in Kent or other variants especially when it comes to severe illness and hospitalization. All manufacturers, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and others are looking at how they can improve their vaccine to make sure that we are ready for any variant - there are about 4,000 variants around the world of COVID now," said Zahawi, Reuters reports.
Zahawi also added that the United Kingdom has 50 percent of the world's genome sequencing industry, and made it clear that the country is ready to face any challenge that the virus will pose in the coming days.
Should the world worry?
In the initial days of the coronavirus outbreak, several world leaders including Donald Trump claimed that COVID-19 is a Chinese virus, and assured that it will 'just disappear'. However, the coronavirus pandemic spread like wildfire, and it affected and killed millions of people worldwide. As coronavirus is mutating rapidly, experts believe that a deadly mutation that is more contagious could again elevate the coronavirus pandemic curve, which is now showing signs of flattening.
In the meantime, vaccination rollout in countries is progressing steadily. In countries like the United States, 8 percent of the total population has already received the vaccines. However, it is still unclear whether these vaccines are capable of combating infections caused by mutated coronavirus variants.