Vaccines offer hope for an easing of the pandemic, but the coronavirus is not loitering around, waiting to be vanquished. Two significant genetic variants in Britain and South Africa pose a challenge on top of all the other misery and suffering. They require an urgent response and a concerted effort to scale up genomic surveillance in the United States so we aren’t flying blind into the next storm. All viruses mutate, and most mutations have little consequence. But some variants in the genetic makeup can cause significant changes in viral behavior and in the ability of vaccines to protect against it.
Editorial: As the virus mutates, here’s another public health failing that needs correcting
January 27, 2021