The first thing to understand about COVID-19 variants is that there are several and that mutation is something that’s to be expected from any viral illness. As viruses spread, errors tend to occur as they divide and these errors lead to new mutations. As viruses divide quite frequently, mutations can occur much more rapidly than they could in typical biological life.
The current Brazilian variant seems to be very similar to the variant that was reported out of South Africa, which seems to be more transmissible than the base form of the virus. Though it’s not known whether this iteration of the virus is even more transmissible than its South African counterpart, it should be noted that it doesn’t seem to cause any new symptoms and it seems to be no more or less serious than any other form of COVID-19 that has been reported since the virus’ discovery.
Perhaps the most important thing to know about this new variant is that the currently-developed vaccines seem to be just as effective at dealing with it as they are with every other form of COVID-19 encountered thus far. This seems to be in line with how vaccines tend to work with variant forms of other viruses, as most treatments tend to be effective even if there have been some types of mutation from the base form.
In truth, there’s still quite a bit of data to be gathered about the Brazilian variant of COVID-19, to say nothing of all of the other variants that have recently been in the news. Scientists are still doing their best to stay ahead of COVID-19 but the rapid mutation of the virus certainly serves as an important reminder that there is still quite a bit about the virus that is not as well understood as most might hope.