A pair of new studies show that an ominous new variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in New York City, showing up in 1 out of 8 infections tracked in a scientific database.
The results are preliminary — neither study has been peer-reviewed, and one has not been made public — but scientists say that vaccines could be less effective against the mutation, and that it is spreading fast.
According to The New York Times, “The new variant, called B.1.526, first appeared in samples collected in the city in November. By the middle of this month, it accounted for about one in four viral sequences appearing in a database shared by scientists.”
That figure includes the South African variant as well, but both studies showed significant spread of the NYC variant: