An expert has warned that a new variant dubbed “Covid-22” could be more lethal than the world-dominating Delta.
Professor Doctor Sai Reddy of the federal technology institute ETH Zurich, an immunologist, believes that combination of existing strains could result in a new and more dangerous phase of the pandemic.
“It is very likely that a new variant will emerge and that we will no longer be able to rely on vaccinations alone,” immunologist Sai Reddy said.
Prof Reddy told the German newspaper Blick that Delta, dubbed COVID-21, was the most contagious variant of all.
He cited coronavirus variants from South Africa (Beta) and Brazil (Gamma) that have mutated, allowing them to evade antibodies to some extent. Delta, on the other hand, is far more contagious but has yet to develop such mutations.
“If Beta or Gamma becomes more contagious, or if Delta develops mutations, then we could be talking about a new phase of the pandemic,” said Reddy. “This would become the big problem of the coming year. Covid-22 could be even worse than what we are experiencing now.”
Professor Doctor Sai Reddy noted that recent scientific findings show that the viral load of the Delta variant is so high that anyone who contracts it who is unvaccinated can become a “super-spreader.”
“Since children under 12 cannot be vaccinated, they represent a large group of potential super-spreaders,” said Reddy.
He noted that the Delta variant can avoid vaccinations due to its extremely high viral load.
“We need to counter this with a high level of antibodies, and that is exactly what a third booster dose of vaccine does,” he explained.