The SARS-CoV-2 virus and its different mutated variants have been detected worldwide, and health authorities are working hard to speed up the vaccination campaigns. However, many countries have not received enough doses, especially in the African continent, while others, such as Israel, administer the third jab. As the virus reached different hosts from different countries, it evolves and mutates several times. The World Health Organization has several criteria for differentiating Covid-19 variants depending on several factors, including transmissibility rates and others. The most recent detected variant, the Mu strain, originated in Columbia at the beginning of this year. Since then, the WHO has categorized the variant as a ‘variant of interest’, and more time is necessary to find out if the strain will become a dangerous one or not.
What does ‘variant of interest’ mean?
According to the CDC classification, when a SARS-CoV-2 variant is classified as a ‘variant of interest,’ the mutated virus has specific genetic markers that can make it more or less transmissible than other variants. Also, Covid-19 vaccines could be highly effective or less effective, and it could cause possible community outbreaks. The Mu variant has been identified in more than 41 countries, and 49 U.S states, except Nebraska. However, specialists agree that the Mu variant is not a variant to raise concerns, such as Delta. More time is needed to monitor it.
The Booster campaign in the U.S should start soon
The U.S Administration decided to offer booster shots for those immunocompromised, starting on September 20. However, the FDA and the CDC have yet to recommend a third shot to the general population. Health specialists recommend that the third dose be the same as the previous two ones. For example, if a person received two doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, then that person should receive a third shot of Moderna. At the same time, many people received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. More official recommendations should be provided soon.