It had to happen. AV.1 is the Yorkshire COVID Variant. There have been currently 47 confirmed cases in Yorkshire. It’s already spreading. It’s been found in Greece and Chad. The Yorkshire Variant is described as a ‘Triple Mutant’ which potentially opens up the risk of increased transferability and reduced vaccine effectiveness. It is now listed as a variant under investigation.
The worry is that yesterday Yorkshire was described as ‘very low risk’ and people should prepare for full reopening next month. Sadly when a country accepts a relatively high level of infections as acceptable then the risk of mutations increases. As the mutations numbers increase then it’s only a matter of time before current vaccines become ineffective. If mutations are allowed to get out of hand then a tipping point is reached when vaccine updates can’t keep up with virus changes. We then are playing a never ending game of catch-up.
The Yorkshire variant will be one of many to come if nothing significant changes. It highlights the shortsightedness of countries hoarding vaccines while many other places struggle to get any supplies at all. It brings into questions approaches to international travel in the short term.
This war is only just beginning.