Variant first found in India appears more transmissible, British researchers say – National

British officials could declare one of the new coronavirus strains first found in India a “variant of concern,” the BBC said on Friday, as scientists flagged evidence that it spreads more quickly than the original version of the virus. Scientists have recommended that one version of the variant first found in India, known as […]

New ‘Eek’ COVID-19 variant causes concern in Japan – National

Japanese health authorities are concerned that variants of COVID-19 are driving a nascent fourth wave in the pandemic with just 109 days remaining until the Tokyo Olympics. The variants appear to be more infectious and may be resistant to vaccines, which are still not widely available in Japan. The situation is worst in Osaka, where infections […]

Japan detects new coronavirus variant, says it came from overseas – National

Japan confirmed a new variant of COVID-19, and an infection cluster emerged at a Tokyo immigration facility, presenting new challenges as the country tries to overcome a third wave of the pandemic. The new variant has been found in 91 cases in the Kanto area of eastern Japan and in 2 cases at airports, […]

Variant from U.K. could ‘threaten vaccination’ and ‘sweep the world’: expert – National

The coronavirus variant first found in the U.K. is a concern because it could undermine the protection given by vaccines against developing COVID-19, the head of the U.K.’s genetic surveillance program said. She also said the variant was dominant in the country and was likely “to sweep the world, in all probability.” The coronavirus […]

Past COVID-19 infection not a ‘free pass’ from new variants, experts say – National

Evidence is mounting that having COVID-19 may not protect against getting infected again with some of the new variants. People also can get second infections with earlier versions of the coronavirus if they mounted a weak defence the first time, new research suggests. How long immunity lasts from natural infection is one of the […]

AstraZeneca says it is tweaking vaccine to fight South African coronavirus variant – National

Developers of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine expect to have a modified jab to cope with the South Africa coronavirus variant by autumn, the vaccine’s lead researcher said Sunday. Health officials in Britain are trying to contain the spread of the variant first identified in South Africa amid concerns that it is more contagious or resistant […]

Drugmakers partner to develop COVID-19 vaccines aimed at new variants – National

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said Wednesday it will work with a German biopharmaceutical company to develop new vaccines targeting emerging variants of COVID-19 amid concerns that some mutations are making the virus harder to combat. Read more: Tam warns of coronavirus variants as new cases emerge across Canada GSK plans to invest 150 million euros ($181 […]

‘Realistic possibility’ COVID-19 variant from U.K. could be deadlier, researchers say – National

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday the COVID-19 variant first discovered in the U.K. may be associated with a higher level of mortality. However, he said evidence showed that both vaccines being used in the country are effective against it. “We’ve been informed today that in addition to spreading more quickly, it […]

EU considers more measures to stop coronavirus variant spread – National

European Union leaders assessed more measures to counter the spread of coronavirus variants during a video summit Thursday as the bloc’s top disease control official said urgent action was needed to stave off a new wave of hospitalizations and deaths. Expressing great concern about the virus’ mutations, the 27 leaders looked at further border […]

Hinshaw to give Alberta COVID-19 update Wednesday as NDP calls for action to contain variants

Alberta’s NDP is calling for more action from the provincial government on how it will manage the COVID-19 variants initially detected in the U.K. and South Africa if they begin spreading locally. So far, all of the variant cases that have been detected in the province have been travel-related, Alberta’s chief medical officer of […]