Canada's chief public health officer says there are cases of the latest COVID-19 variant of interest in the country, but it's too early to know how widespread it is or what impact it could have.
Dr. Theresa Tam said Thursday 11 cases of the Lambda variant that was first identified in Peru last year have been reported to Health Canada to date. However, the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec said Thursday it has confirmed 27 cases already, all in March and April.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is monitoring Lambda to see how it spreads and how it responds to vaccines, Tam said.
“We're just trying to gather up some information on who it is that's having the Lambda variant right now, but there's very few cases at this point,” she said.
Early studies, including one from New York University published July 2, suggest Lambda may be a bit resistant to antibodies produced by the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, but concluded it is not by enough “to cause a significant loss of protection against infection.”