João Paulo Gomes, who works at the Doctor Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute (Insa), was speaking at the presentation session "Epidemiological situation of covid-19 in Portugal", at the headquarters of Infarmed - National Authority for Medicines and Health Products, in Lisbon.

According to the expert, "while there are great imbalances" in the world in vaccination against Covid-19 - with countries with a low rate of immunisation - "it is more than normal that new variants" of SARS-CoV-2 will appear.

As a result of this imbalance in vaccination on a global scale, "the emergence of new variants is expected" even in countries like Portugal, where there is a "high vaccination rate" against Covid-19, noted João Paulo Gomes.

The Insa researcher explained that in countries with low vaccination rates there are "more viruses in circulation" that lead to the "emergence of new variants".

Currently, the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the most contagious of all and considered to be of concern by the World Health Organization, dominates on a global scale, including in Portugal.