New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: The world is witnessing different variants of the SARS-COV-2 virus wreaking havoc around the globe. From COVID-19 strains that originated in the UK, Kent, or India, mutant strains of the virus have become an increasing cause of concern for people.

Most recently, the American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Moderna’s Chief Scientist Officer, Melissa Moore was quoted by the Times of India saying “as the virus spreads, it is rapidly mutating”

Another scientist of the company, Guillaume Stewart Jones was quoted saying that effective plans need to be made to fight the new strains which are emerging constantly in real-time. This brings us to the question where are there variants coming from and how can we save ourselves from them? Here are the answers to your questions.

Where do new variants of COVID-19 come from?

As per scientists, the new variants of a virus come up when there is a change in the genetic code of the virus which is also known as the process of mutation. Viruses or other pathogens have a natural tendency to keep on changing and mutating. However, in some cases, the variants can be genetically distinct which makes them more dangerous. In the case of covid-19 also the SARS-COV-2 virus tends to mutate more often than other viruses.

Every strain or variation of a virus carries specific changes that can be more contagious or harmful. For example, the third wave of Coronavirus is expected to affect children as well which was not the case with the previous strains.

Similarly, the B.1.1.7 variant of the COVID virus can spread faster while the double mutant virus can cause severe effects to your lungs. Hence, it is important to immune against these viruses which are becoming smarter with each passing day.

How to safeguard against new COVID variants?

While it is true that the COVID-19 virus is replicating and mutating faster, the effectiveness of COVID vaccines in giving protection against it cannot be denied. The efficacy shown in clinical trials of the vaccines stands as proof of their ability to fight some of the variants. For example, two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine give up to 66 per cent effective against the B.1.617.2 and B.1.1.7 variants of the Coronavirus.

Therefore, it is important to get vaccinated as early as possible. Getting the jab early can reduce the chances of contracting the virus and even lower the chances of community spread. In this way, variants of the virus will not have to the environment to spread amongst people.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan