Sars-cov-2 has a tendency to mutate, although not to the same extent as other viruses such as influenza or HIV, and a large number of mutations have already been detected. However, some mutations are more serious than others.
Most vaccines which is now being developed focuses on the so-called spike protein, which the virus uses to bind to our cells. If this part of the virus changes, the vaccine may lose its effect. The reason why researchers are concerned about mutations among Danish mink is that they have affected proteins.
Monitoring for new mutations is important and may also mean that vaccines currently being developed may need to be updated in the future.
How important is extensive testing?
Early spring called on the WHO for extensive testing. For many countries, including Sweden, however, it took several months before extensive testing was conducted. Testing gradually expanded, and at week 46, 260,673 PCR tests were performed, that is, tests that can detect active infection, of which 12.9 percent were positive.
Although both the Swedish Public Health Agency and the WHO emphasize testing as an important tool to prevent the further spread of the infection, mass testing has also been criticized. Among other things, there are allegations that testing causes the effects of displacement and that testing for other diseases is less important.