Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles COVID-19: Why the South African Variant is Scarier than the UK Strain. The UK variant of COVID-19 has frightened the world but it's not the real deal. Some experts believe the South African variant is a more concerning matter. Not only did it manage to emerge on its own, but it also successfully landed in Japan. The South African variant is more of a risk than a mutation, said UK's health minister. Both variants are associated with high transmissibility rates, compared to the original coronavirus. The South African variant is known as B.1.351 while the UK variant is called B.1.1.7. Although the two are found with higher transmissibility, the former appears more dangerous in some sense. The UK variant B.1.1.7 is believed to have a mutation that allows the coronavirus to better infect human cells. When a person contracts the strain, their bodies are likely more prone to the virus and to symptoms. This is why vaccines are being tested against the strain. The South African variant B.1.351, meanwhile, features two concerning new abilities. First, it can infect human cells better like the UK variant. And second, it is more prevalent among young people without underlying health conditions. Scientists compared this variant to others that have similar mutations. They linked the B.1.351 strain to serious COVID-19 in young people. This is what scares experts if the South African variant gets everywhere. UK's Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "This is a very, very significant problem... and it's even more of a problem than the U.K. new variant". According to CNBC, both South Africa and the UK are struggling to control the surge of new cases. Despite being no deadlier than the original strain, the UK and South African governments are ailing to the nonstop wave of daily cases. Right now, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna are expecting their vaccines to work on both variants. Thanks to genome sequencing databases, vaccine makers predicted what mutations the coronavirus may have later. This is similar to what manufacturers do with influenza vaccines. Many experts also expect the vaccines to protect people from the variants. However, research is ongoing to further determine the efficacy of these vaccines against the new strains. In case the strains may lower the efficacy rates, the vaccine makers are ready to make adjustments within weeks to combat the variants.