Tags: Coronavirus | coronavirus | variants | vaccine | effectiveness

New COVID-19 Variants May Slash Vaccine Effectiveness

coronavirus blood test and vaccine
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 21 January 2021 01:19 PM

The COVID-19 variants that are popping up around the world do not appear to be more deadly than the original virus. But, according to experts, they are more transmissible and could evade the power of the approved vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. According to reports published Wednesday, the new mutations may “modestly curb the effectiveness of our two current vaccines.” Researchers from New York’s The Rockefeller University and the National Institutes of Health found that antibodies produced by inoculated people were three times less effective in blocking the mutated viruses sampled from Brazil, Britain, and South Africa, from infecting human cells.

According to The Week, Dr. Michel C. Nussenzweig, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology at The Rockefeller University, said, “It’s a small difference but it is definitely a difference.”

Pfizer also reported on Wednesday that it tested its vaccine against the B.1.1.7. strain found here in the U.S. and found it to be effective in protecting against this mutation. Experts say that the vaccines do offer protection against all strains of the virus but warn that the slower we distribute the drugs, the faster the virus can mutate.

“We’ve got an arms race between the vaccine and the virus,” said Dr. Buddy Creech, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program at Vanderbilt University, according to The Week. “The slower we roll out vaccine around the world, the more opportunity we give this virus to escape and mutate.”

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Headline
The COVID-19 variants that are popping up around the world do not appear to be more deadly than the original virus. But, according to experts, they are more transmissible and could evade the power of the approved vaccines...
coronavirus, variants, vaccine, effectiveness
240
2021-19-21
Thursday, 21 January 2021 01:19 PM
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