Will COVID-19 vaccines protect us from new variants?

Will COVID-19 vaccines protect us from new variants?

As more and more countries begin their COVID-19 vaccination programmes, people are wondering if the vaccines will protect us from the new variants.

New variants, such as the Delta variant, have emerged during the pandemic – bringing new threats. Some are more easily transmissable, some require us to have higher levels of antibodies to protect ourselves. But thankfully so far, none are vaccine resistant.

The race to vaccinate the world is an urgent one. If we can win the race together, it is hoped that we can halt further mutations and prevent there ever being a variant that becomes resistant to the vaccines currently in use or in development.

We know that approved COVID-19 vaccines offer a high level of protection, especially when it comes to preventing the most serious illnesses. This means that if we have had the vaccine, we are less likely to be hospitalised and die from COVID-19.

And according to scientists this is the case with all of the variants currently circulating in the world.

The World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, says that vaccines will still protect us from the most severe symptoms caused by the COVID-19 variants – saving lives.

While we are unlikely to die or become seriously ill once we are fully vaccinated against COVID, we can still catch it and pass it on. So it is vital that we continue to limit the spread of the virus and ensure everyone, everywhere has access to the vaccines as soon as possible.

We can help stop the spread in our own communities by wearing masks, physically distancing, washing hands thoroughly, and opening doors and windows to let the fresh air in.

We are in a race against the virus, not against each other. Fair access to vaccines around the world will help us end the pandemic faster and save lives.