The Vietnamese Health Ministry announced that scientists have identified a coronavirus variant that has mutation strains from UK and India, making it highly susceptible to transmission.
Officials believe the UK variant is more easily transmissible than other strains. The variant, B.1.1.7, is between 30% to 50% more effective at spreading from person to person than other coronavirus variants, according to UK scientists.
On the other hand, the India variant might make the virus more infectious or may help it avoid the antibody response.
According to experts, this means variants can spread more easily, make people sicker, escape immune responses, evade tests, or render treatments ineffective.
Vietnam’s Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the new hybrid variant can transmit quicker through the air compared to the previously known variants. It was discovered after running tests on newly-detected patients, he added.
Vaccines, such as those developed by Pfizer and AstraZeneca, appear to be highly effective against the Indian variant after two doses, but protection from a single dose appears to be reduced.
There is no evidence that coronavirus mutations cause significantly more severe illness in the vast majority of people.