In the current scenario, there is no longer just one type of SARS-CoV-2 virus. As we have witnessed, new variants continue to emerge as a result of mutations. This raises the question of whether recovered individuals from the best covid hospitals in Hyderabad are still protected from reinfection or whether current vaccines are losing effectiveness. All the currently used covid vaccines prepare our immune system for viral infection by creating antibodies. And, it is said that most mutations of SARS-CoV-2 do not have a noticeable impact on us, but some do.

In order to reduce the confusion and avoid geographic stigmas, the World Health Organization unveiled a new nomenclature for coronavirus viral variants. These variants are classified as variants of concern” (VOC) or “variant of interest (VOI). 

As we already know that the viruses constantly change through mutation and when a virus has one or more new mutations it’s called a variant of the original virus. In the present scenario, several variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are creating concern.

What is a Variant of Concern?

As per WHO, a variant of concern leads to a rise in transmissibility. It can also increase in fatality. And, a significant decrease in effectiveness of vaccines, therapy and other health measures.

What is a Variant of Interest?

A VOI is a covid variant with a genetic capability that affects characteristics of the virus with disease severity. It causes a consequential volume of community transmission. And, a global increase in cases poses a risk of large proportions to worldwide public health.

To have an overview of the covid variants, we need to have a look at the different types of covid variants. 

Types of COVID Variants:-

Delta

It was initially detected in India in December 2020, and is now the most common COVID-19 variant in the U.S. It might reduce the effectiveness of some antibody treatments and the antibodies generated by a COVID-19 vaccine.

Alpha

It was first detected in Southern England in 2020. According to a study, patients suffering from this variant posed a greater risk of CCU admission. This COVID-19 variant appears to spread more easily, with about a 50% increase in transmission. It might also lead to an increased risk of hospitalization and death.

Gamma

First cases of this covid variant were detected in the U.S. in January, 2021. This covid variant also minimizes the effectiveness of antibody medications and the antibodies generated by a vaccine.

Beta

It may have the potential to re-infect people who have already recovered from earlier strains of the virus. It may also be resistant to some vaccines and it has a greater viral load than its pervious strain. 

Kappa

The first samples of the Kappa variant was documented in India, in October 2020. It is a double mutant virus. Some of the cases of the variant have been reported in Uttar Pradesh. 

According to the research, the COVID-19 vaccines are slightly less effective against the variants. However, the vaccines still appear to provide a lot of protection against severe coronavirus. According to another research, after receiving both the doses of vaccination, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 88% effective at preventing symptomatic caused by the delta variant. 

In the current situation when there is an anticipation of the 3rd wave of COVID, it is important to take all the essential precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. At the same time, it is also important to undergo vaccination as a safety measure against COVID. 

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