Brazilian variant in 99 percent of Uruguayan coronavirus samples, says institute

Uruguay coronavirus variant
Testing site in Tacuarembó province. Photo: Minsal/Twitter/@DrDanielSalinas

Scientists from Uruguay’s Pasteur Institute encountered the P.1 coronavirus variant — originally found in the Brazilian Amazon — in 99 percent of Covid-19 blood samples analyzed during the first half of May.

Local authorities admit that the P.1. variant has been circulating in Uruguay at least since March, and its higher potential for contagion could increase cases of re-infection. 

Researchers from the Pasteur Institute warn that vaccination is becoming less effective due to the presence of mutations, meaning “a greater number of people need vaccines to achieve herd immunity.” As of today, Uruguay has administered 2.7 million shots, with almost 29 percent of its population fully vaccinated. Only Chile has performed better on the vaccination front in Latin America.