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This older COVID-19 variant has a dangerous mutation

The A.30 COVID-19 variant could evade some vaccines, raising potential concern among experts

SHARE This older COVID-19 variant has a dangerous mutation
The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the virus that causes COVID-19.

NIAID-RML via Associated Press

Scientists in Germany warned in a new study that an older COVID-19 variant can evade coronavirus vaccines, spelling potential trouble if the variant were to ever resurface.

Per Newsweek, the scientists said the A.30 variant can evade the Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

  • But the variant has not been seen for months.
  • In fact, the A.30 variant was last seen in May and June of 2021.

Data from GISAID show about five cases of the A.30 variant exist throughout the world.

  • Three of them are in Angola, one is in Sweden and one more exists in the United Kingdom.

The scientists in Germany said the A.30 variant “warrants close monitoring and rapid installment of countermeasures” even if it’s not spreading widely.

COVID-19 variants have not worried experts in recent weeks because the delta variant appeared to knock them out of contention, stopping them from spreading fast, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “Delta is the dominant variant, in all of these other variants kind of pale in comparison when it comes to their ability to infect,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said on Hill.TV’s “Rising” program.
  • “And that’s what matters to this virus — just finding more people to infect, and delta is crowding all of the others out,” he added.

However, experts have been monitoring a delta variant subtype — called AY.4.2 — that has been spreading in England, per Business Insider.

The variant has created a small rise of COVID-19 cases in the U.K. And that’s why Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said experts should monitor the variant to make sure it doesn’t spread.

  • “We need urgent research to figure out if this delta plus is more transmissible, has partial immune evasion,” Gottlieb said in a tweet.
  • “There’s no clear indication that it’s considerably more transmissible, but we should work to more quickly characterize these and other new variants. We have the tools.”