My colleague and close collaborator @LucyvanDorp has previously identified #SARSCoV2 mutations occurring repeatedly in minks, which may be involved in increased transmission in carnivore hosts. Those include one in the Spike protein.
There are thousands of mutations in #SARSCoV2 arising constantly. The fact that a few have been observed in minks will not change the strains in circulation in humans. If they were beneficial for the virus to infect its human host, they would be at high frequency already.
The 'vaccine escape' scare story is just idiotic. Vaccine-escape mutations may (or not) arise in humans in the future, if they are advantageous to the virus for (once vaccines will be deployed). They definitely won't be fuelled by mutations having emerged in minks.
This is a typical example of all that is wrong with science and its communication in the #COVID19 era. An interesting observation gets misunderstood and blown out of proportion and ends up as a silly and confusing story fuelling further fear and confusion in the public.
It would be really helpful if scientists, journalists and politicians all tried to be a bit more careful and responsible in the future. Such hysterical #COVID19 pseudo-science is of benefit to no one.
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