Antibodies generated in response to the new coronavirus variant dominating transmission in SA appear to provide protection against infection with several other strains, a discovery that could pave the way for better vaccines, SA scientists announced on Wednesday.

The 501Y.V2 variant was detected by scientists from the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) late last year, and now accounts for virtually all infections in SA. It was classed as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, because it spreads more easily and can infect more people than the original Sars-Cov-2 virus. It has now been detected in 48 countries...

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