New variants will inevitably emerge as the coronavirus mutates – but what does this mean for the future of the pandemic?
The Delta variant – which emerged in India – is known to spread significantly more easily than the once-dominant Alpha virus, which was first identified in Kent.
Rising coronavirus cases has prompted Boris Johnson to delay the lifting of restrictions in England, in a literal arms race to get more people vaccinated before they are infected.
The extent to which the Delta variant evades vaccine-induced immunity is somewhat muddled.
The UK’s four approved jabs were developed with the original coronavirus in mind, which emerged in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019.
While it may sound alarming, research increasingly demonstrates the vaccines are at least somewhat effective against the Delta variant.