South Africa has been grappling with an intense new Covid-19 surge for weeks now.
To make it much more transmissible, the virus here has mutated – very much like the British variant.
There’s no reason to date that the virus has become more lethal.
But South African scientists are now racing to determine if the mutations could have impacted the ability of the virus to withstand existing vaccines.
There isn’t any concrete evidence yet either way.
The problem, however, stems from the fact that the virus here has mutated more than in Britain, and one of those mutations is related to its ability to bind to antibodies, such as those found in a vaccine.
If the ability to attach is impaired, the vaccine can not bond and therefore work so well.
Experts here are carrying out urgent tests and say they should know within a matter of weeks if that’s an issue.
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