COVID-19

WATCH: The Lambda variant is in the Philippines. Now what?

Sofia Tomacruz
WATCH: The Lambda variant is in the Philippines. Now what?
How worried should you be for a new variant? And what should we do about it? Watch this Rappler explainer to know more on the Lambda variant.

While the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant continues to fuel infections in the Philippines, local health officials reported the presence of Lambda, a variant of interest scientists were watching closely for mutations that could affect the virus’ transmissibility and response to vaccines. 

The Department of Health said the country’s first Lambda case was local, meaning the person never left the Philippines. Its detection, confirmed through genome sequencing, was also announced on August 15 – three weeks after the person had contracted the virus. 

Scientists in Japan have found that Lamda, a variant of interest first detected in Peru and spreading in South America, might be able to evade antibodies generated by available vaccines. But more work still needs to be done to determine this and other traits of Lambda. 

How worried should you be for a new variant? And what should we do about it?

Watch this Rappler explainer and listen to what health experts have to say. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.