More resources on variants for your COVID-19 reporting toolbox


Back in January, Bara Vaida, the AHCJ core topic leader for infectious disease, wrote a helpful post on resources for tracking COVID-19 variants. But in the age of COVID, data moves fast enough to give us constant whiplashes, and so much has changed since then. The most significant change is that the number of variants of concern — a term that not yet defined at the time of Vaida’s post — has grown to at least five:

  • 1.1.7 (UK)
  • 1.351 (South Africa)
  • 1 (Brazil)
  • 1.427 and B.1.429 (California)

Scientists have also learned a lot more about the individual mutations in each variant, such as what advantage they might give the virus and how these can overlap across variants.

Below is a list of resources that can be helpful for reporting on variants, particularly if you’re trying to go in-depth into the science of mutations. In addition to Vaida’s list of sources, I’ve added my own recommendations for interviews on variants, as well as a Twitter list I’ve created to track those following the nitty-gritty details of them. Some of the resources below duplicate those in Vaida’s list, but I recommend reading her blog post first for its excellent background info.

List of potential sources (alphabetical)

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Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle is AHCJ’s health beat leader on infectious disease and formerly led the medical studies health beat. She’s the author of “Vaccination Investigation” and “The Informed Parent.”