Understanding virus variation is critical to understanding how the Covid-19 pandemic will unfold and how it may continue to affect our global economy, our societies, and all of us individually. Will the vaccines work? Will we need new shots each year? Will the pandemic end or can we expect a renewed surge of Covid-19 cases every year, like we see with the flu? These are the questions and issues at the heart of William A. Haseltine’s Variants! The Shape-Shifting Challenge of COVID-19.

In the third edition of Variants!, released in April, Dr. Haseltine explores the latest scientific evidence on SARS-CoV-2 mutations and breaks down three key lessons for you:

First, the current generation of Covid-19 vaccines has been remarkably successful at preventing infection and disease, but many unknowns about the duration of protection against the new variants remain. Going forwards, drug and vaccine developers will have to account for the dangers of continued variation and revise their products accordingly.

Second, SARS-CoV-2 variants are becoming increasingly infectious and ubiquitous. To understand why, further research must examine the entirety of the viral genome, rather than focusing solely on the spike protein.

Third, several new variants appeared in March and April, suggesting the virus is continuing to evolve and won’t be stopping anytime soon. We must accept the reality that the variants are here to stay and invest in deep surveillance, variant-proof vaccines, and prophylactic drugs.

Variants! is a Living eBook, updated regularly with new information as it unfolds. When a reader purchases a copy of the book, either in print or online, they will receive a special passcode that will give them online access to every subsequent edition of the book, as it is released. Readers who have already purchased a copy, visit www.williamhaseltine.com/covidvariants to access the third edition released in April 2021.