There’s a new coronavirus variant in the UK. Here’s what we know.

A new genetic variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has emerged in the United Kingdom, but it’s unlikely to threaten the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, scientists say.

New “variants” of the coronavirus emerge as the virus makes copies of itself and picks up genetic mutations; the mutations in a given variant may or may not change how the virus infects cells or how easily it spreads, so scientists keep track of the changes to determine which ones might pose a potential risk. 

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