Texas A&M hosts panel discussing new COVID-19 variant

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KTRK) -- Just one week after Texas A&M identified a new variant of the coronavirus that could present a new challenge to public health, the university will host a panel discussing that variant.

So far, the new variant, "BV-1," was found in just one case: an individual who had mild symptoms, according to the Texas A&M scientists.

Thursday's "A Race Against Time?" panel will address how the current vaccines protect against the new variants, how fast Texas, U.S. and globe can reach herd immunity, and what's the likelihood that variants will become increasingly resistant to vaccines?

SEE RELATED STORY: Coronavirus variant concerns: Can COVID-19 tests and vaccine keep up?

"We do not at present know the full significance of this variant, but it has a combination of mutations similar to other internationally notifiable variants of concern," GHRC chief virologist Ben Neuman told ABC13 last week. "This variant combines genetic markers separately associated with rapid spread, severe disease and high resistance to neutralizing antibodies."

The scientists said they felt the need to share with the public because other labs have shown neutralizing antibodies are ineffective in controlling other variants with the same genetic markers as BV-1.

BV-1 is related to the United Kingdom variant of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The "BV" stands for Brazos Valley, where Texas A&M and GHRC are located.

The video above is from a previous story.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.