Opinion

501Y.V2 gave us a bad name, but it could be to our benefit

18 April 2021 - 00:00 By TULIO DE OLIVEIRA

The 501Y.V2 Covid variant has been called the South African variant. However, we are not sure it even arose in SA. Calling it the South African variant is not only wrong, it’s also discriminatory. Using science in the pandemic response has been a positive in SA and led to a climate of transparency in the evolution of Covid-19. Our recent results, published in the journal Nature, indicate that the variant first discovered in SA elutes high-level antibodies that can help to design more effective vaccines.

Viruses evolve, changing shape to adapt and survive. While people may immediately choose panic and shock in response to new variants of the coronavirus being discovered, science continues to remind us that being transparent to results is important. There’s a saying that in order to defeat your enemy you need to know it...

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