Constellation names for new Covid variants that could evade vaccines: WHO

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Aug 08, 2021, 06:56 PM(IST)

Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Photograph:( Reuters )

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WHO is now looking at new names in case they finish all 24 letters of the Greek alphabet. As of now, 11 variants have been named, of which Delta, Beta and Alpha have had the main focus

An expert from the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that new variants of coronavirus might emerge, and these might be able to evade the existing Covid vaccines.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the COVID-19 technical lead of WHO, said it is very much possible that new variants might be stronger than the existing vaccines. She requested countries to "do everything we can" rather than simply relying on Covid vaccines.

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She also informed that the WHO is now looking at new names in case they finish all 24 letters of the Greek alphabet. As of now, 11 variants have been named, of which Delta, Beta and Alpha have had the main focus.

"We will possibly run out of the Greek alphabet, but we're already looking at the next series of names," she said.

The team of experts is trying to focus on constellation names now. "We're actually considering star constellations. We were going to go with Greek gods or goddesses, and I said please, please don't make me say that publicly," she added.

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She also assured that the names will be chosen keeping in mind no one is offended or upset with the names.

Last year, it was Maria Van Kerkhove who urged everyone to not associate countries with the strain names as she feared it would lead to "stigmatising" a country or place.

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