The SARS-CoV-2 virus, a type of coronavirus, causes the COVID-19 disease. The virus is constantly mutating as part of natural processes, resulting in many versions of the virus (variants) with slightly different genetic makeup.
Certain coronavirus variants are more concerning as they may be more transmissible, cause more severe disease, or even reduce immune protection gained either through vaccination or previous infection.
It is important to keep track of such “significant variants” and the associated risk in order to understand development of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The race between coronavirus mutation and our countermeasures (including vaccination) could be a key factor to shape the future trend of the pandemic.