Variants of Concern (VOCs)

COVID-19Variants of Concern is also known as a VOC or Variant of Interest.

What is a COVID-19 Variant?
A variant is a new form of a disease. A diseases like COVID-19 can mutate or change over time.


We are following 3 Variants of Concern (VOCs):
VOCs identified globally and in Ontario include:

  • B.1.1.7 variant first identified the UK
  • B1351 variant first identified in South Africa
  • P1 variant first identified in Brazil

COVID-19 Variants of Concern are circulating in Ontario, Northern Ontario and the Porcupine Health Unit.

Why are we concerned about the COVID-19 Variants of Concern?
The new variants can spread quickly to others in our workplaces, households and in our community.
We need to stay diligent and continue to protect others who are not vaccinated from COVID-19 and the variants.

If I am vaccinated, I am protected from COVID-19 and the VOCs?

The four COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada, are likely to remain effective against the new fast-spreading variants of the virus but research is needed. We need to protect the youth and others who did not receive vaccine. If you are vaccinated against COVID-19, you can still spread the disease to others.

Learn more from our partners:
Porcupine Health Unit (Web)
Public Health Ontario (Web)
Ontario Health (Web)

Even if you are vaccinated, you still need to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Joint Statement from Porcupine Health and WAHA
Officials in Timmins issue plea for people to stay at home as district’s COVID cases soar (Web)

Listen to Dr. Max Boulet explain the COVID-19 Variants of Concern on Wawatay Radio