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Could the delta variant kill the lambda variant?

The lambda variant might face a major problem in the U.S., which might stop it from spreading

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Jay Vojno gets the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in New York.

Jay Vojno gets the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, July 30, 2021, in New York.

Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

The lambda variant of the novel coronavirus might not spread widely in the United States because of a problem it will face when it hits the country.

Will lambda spread in the U.S.?

Dr. Anna Durbin, a professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Newsweek that the lambda variant will face a major problem because it will be stacked up against the delta variant.

  • Lambda “is going to run into a problem here in the U.S. and that is the delta variant,” Durbin said.
  • “These viruses are all competing with each other for advantage to be the one that survives,” Durbin told Newsweek. “We know that the lambda variant has some of the same mutations as the delta variant that we think (will) allow it to be more transmissible, so it would be difficult to outcompete the delta variant.”

Durbin said the delta variant will become so widespread in the U.S. that lambda won’t outcompete delta, meaning it won’t have a chance to spread as far and as wide, according to Newsweek.

  • “It’s survival of the fittest,” she said. “You have these viruses that replicate and they get mutations. The one that can replicate for the highest titer or be transmitted better is the one that’s going to survive because that one is going to spread more easily and the other variants are going to sort of just die out.”

Is lambda variant dangerous?

There’s growing evidence that the lambda variant — which was first discovered in Peru — might be more worrisome than we think. A new study — which was published online through bioRxiv but was not been peer-reviewed — found that the lambda variant has three mutations to the spike protein that could make it resistant to antibodies made by the vaccines, as I wrote for the Deseret News.