Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) says they have discovered a new Covid-19 variant which differs from those in South Africa and Britain.
KEMRI have conducted research in quest to discover the Covid-19 mutation that is responsible for the Covid-19. According to the principal investigator and researcher, Charles Agoti, the variant was detected from samples taken from Taita Taveta County.
Agoti says that the new variant, which is not similar to those of South Africa and Britain, is more infectious than the previous one thus there will be an increase in Covid-19 cases locally. In addition, he says the new variant will however not have any impact on effectiveness of the recently released Covid-19 vaccines.
During a research conducted in the Coastal area by KEMRI, between June and October, there were 16 Covid-19 variants detected. However, they were said to be harmless.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), the currently recurring Covid-19 variants are a concern in 47 countries in Africa. WHO says that the variants need to be investigated since they can cause an impact to one’s immune response.
Similarly, WHO representative in Kenya, Rudi Eggers, says that the vaccines will still be effective considering the research done. But more research is ongoing to find out more about the Covid-19 variants. Eggers also says that there is probability that in some cases the effectiveness of the vaccine on those injected will be low.
Meanwhile there are fears that scientists might have to roll-out a second generation vaccines even before the first generation vaccines are fully introduced.