As we still continue to grapple with the pandemic, experts have started warning people of the emergence of a new “super variant” of coronavirus, COVID-22, which may emerge in 2022. Experts believe it to be deadlier than all the current strains, including the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Professor Sai Reddy, an immunologist from an Associate Professor of Systems and Synthetic Immunology at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, cautioned that it is inevitable for the currently existing variants to combine and give birth to a brand new and deadlier “super variant” by 2022, the Sun reported.
In his statement, he said that this new variant could pose a “big risk.” He also said that this new strain is likely to affect the unvaccinated people who he believes have the potential to be “super spreaders.”
“COVID-22 could get worse than what we are witnessing now… We have to be prepared for more than one vaccination in the next few years, which is constantly adapting to new variants,” Reddy said.
He urged the manufacturers of the current vaccines to be prepared to adapt in the event that the new super variant really appears. “If such a variant appears, we have to recognize it as early as possible and the vaccine manufacturers have to adapt the vaccine quickly. The emergence of this new variant is a big risk.”
“It is the next phase of the pandemic when Beta or Gamma become more infectious or Delta develops escape mutations. That will be the big problem for the coming year,” he added.
The concept of COVID-22 has also gone viral, but experts claim that there has been no COVID-20 or COVID-21 because all the variants have come from the same “family” of the original SARS-CoV-2. The progressive mutations, including Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, Lambda, and other variants of concern and interest are listed on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
Some of the tweets that resulted from the trending episode of the term “COVID-22” can be found here:
— Napping✒ (@InkToonist) August 23, 2021
Sees Covid-22 trending… pic.twitter.com/QD5HhPpTcu
— Gabe Sanchez (@iamgabesanchez) August 23, 2021
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) August 23, 2021