Wales’ first minister has expressed concern that a new COVID-19 variant resistant to vaccines will emerge soon, Sky News reports.

Mark Drakeford, the first minister, said that COVID-19 cases will continue to rise, and that he is “almost certain” a new variant will rise in the United Kingdom.

  • “There is at least a possibility that that variant will turn out to be more resistant to vaccination than the current one we have,” he said.
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There’s already a COVID-19 variant spreading throughout the U.K. Per Business Insider, the delta variant subtype — called AY.4.2 — has been infecting people in the United Kingdom, raising some concern among experts.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the AY.4.2 variant has made its way to the United States, too. She said there isn’t any major reason to panic yet, but the CDC will monitor for potential clusters.

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Francois Balloux, the director at the University College London Genetics Institute, tweeted Saturday that the AY.4.2 variant could be 10% more transmissible than the current delta variant, too.

  • “As such, it feels worthwhile keeping an eye on it,” he said.

That said, scientists in Germany warned that an older COVID-19 variant — called the A.30 variant — can evade the Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, too. However, the variant has not been around for months.