New Covid variants aren't only making the virus more transmissible, they are upending efforts to control infection rates. This month South Africa canceled plans to give people the Astrazeneca jab after finding it wasn't effective enough against the local variant. Time is ticking – no one knows when and how new variants will affect transmission and whether the current vaccines will work. In which direction is SARS-CoV-2 evolving? And can the spread of new variants be stopped?
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