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Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (orange) infected with UK B.1.1.7 variant SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (green), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (NIAID)

COVID-19 variants FAQ: How did the U.K., South Africa and Brazil variants emerge? Are they more contagious? How does a virus mutate? Could there be a super-variant that evades vaccines?

Variants of the original SARS-CoV-2 are now in wide circulation. That means the third wave of COVID-19 has come with new questions about the variants, their effects and what might come next.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was 70 per cent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 infection in a large multinational study, and recently reported 76 per cent overall efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 in another large study done primarily in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine FAQ: Why do the age recommendations keep changing? Does it cause VIPIT blood clots? Is it effective against variants?

With changing recommendations about AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine making headlines, many people have questions about its use.
Medical technician Amira Doudou prepares samples at the University Hospital Institute for Infectious Diseases in Marseille, France, Jan. 13, 2021, to study the highly contagious COVID-19 variant. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Why new COVID-19 variants are on the rise and spreading around the world

Multiple COVID-19 variants are circulating around the world and becoming more common. These mutations can alter the ability of the virus to take hold and replicate within our cells.

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