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Viral variants of concern may emerge with dangerous resistance to the immunity generated by the current vaccines to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Moreover, if some variants of concern have increased transmissibility or virulence, the importance of efficient public health measures and vaccination programs will increase. The global response must be both timely and science based.

Original publication




Journal article


The New England journal of medicine

Publication Date



From the Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD (P.R.K., M.G.); the Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle (T.R.F.); the Department of Biostatistics, University of Florida, Gainesville (I.M.L.); the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford (R.P., V.B.), and the Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (M.D.S.), Oxford, and the Global Health Programme, Chatham House (D.L.H.), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (J.P.C.), London - all in the United Kingdom; the Howard College School of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban (J.A.S.), and the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Johannesburg (H.R.) - both in South Africa; the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto (J.A.S.); the Clalit Research Institute, Innovation Division, Clalit Health Services, Tel Aviv, Israel (R.D.B.); the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany (C.M.-F.); the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne, VIC, Australia (K.S.); and the World Health Organization, Geneva (S.B., A.-M.R., R.G., M.D.V.K., S.S., M.J.R., A.-M.H.-R.).