The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says it expects that the current Covid-19 vaccines will continue to protect individuals from severe disease and death, after a new mutation of the virus was detected.
Researchers identified a potential SARS-CoV-2 variant of interest, and published the results last week.
The variant was detected through genomic surveillance of the virus during the third wave of infections, and was first discovered in Gauteng and Mpumalanga in May.
Senior researcher Prof. Penny Moore says currently the incidence of the variant, called C.1.2 is very low, between 2% and 3% of infections. The Delta variant still dominates new infections.
But this is gradually increasing month by month and that scientists are watching the situation closely.
The NCID says vaccination remains critical, while efforts must be made to reduce strain on the health system and to help slow transmission.