WHO warns that new strain may be resistant to vaccines

posted on 09/02/2021 10:03 AM / updated on 09/02/2021 10:07 AM

  (credit: Bárbara Cabral/Esp. CB/DA Press)

(credit: Bárbara Cabral/Esp. CB/DA Press)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is evaluating a new strain of coronavirus. Called the Mu variant, the strain originated in Colombia and is already present in 39 countries in South America and Europe. The entity classified the version as “variant of interest”. According to WHO, there are indications that Mu may be resistant to vaccines. However, the entity warns that more studies are needed to understand the characteristics of Mu.

The global prevalence is only 0.1%, but in Colombia it is 39% and in Ecuador it is 13%. The Mu variant was first detected in Colombia last January. In Brazil, the strain arrived with the Copa América, in July.

All viruses mutate over time. Most of these changes do not interfere at all. However, some can influence the propagation capacity and effectiveness of vaccines, for example.

Mu is the fifth variant of interest to be monitored by WHO since March. They were also rated Eta, Iota, Kappa and Lambda. Four others received the classification of “worrying”: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.