‘There could be some modest hit in vaccine efficacy’: Expert on new Covid-19 strain – world news

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The new variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is said to have originated in southeast England, has raised concerns over the effectiveness of the vaccines developed to supply immunity against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). According to a CNN outline, Pfizer Inc. has set to work on generating data to analyse how polite blood samples from people inoculated with its vaccine, BNT162b2, against Covid-19 “could possibly neutralize the new strain from the United Kingdom.”

What are the chances Covid-19 vaccines won’t work against new virus strain?

Earlier on Monday, US President Donald Trump’s Covid-19 vaccine czar said the chances that one set of mutations would totally alter the structures against which the vaccines induce an immune response is “extremely low.” All the way through a press briefing, Dr Moncef Slaoui, chief science advisor to Trump’s vaccine program Operation Warp Speed, told reporters that he expects Pfizer’s and Moderna’s Covid-19 shots will be effective against the new variant of coronavirus found in Britain.

Meantime, Moderna said the biotech firm expects that the vaccine-induced immunity against Covid-19 would be protective against the variants found in the United Kingdom. It further added that the company will be performing extra tests in the coming weeks to “confirm this expectation.” America Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised only the two Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna.

Some researchers who are analysing the genome of the new variant have suggested that there could also be “modest reductions” in vaccine efficacy because of “antigenic go with the flow.” Trevor Bedford, an associate professor in the vaccine and infectious disease division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, told CNN that there could be “some modest hit in vaccine efficacy, which wouldn’t be good, but I don’t think it would break the vaccine.”

In a series of tweets, Bedford had said that the vaccine developers will likely need a process in the coming years to update the spike variant used in the vaccine to best match circulating viruses. He also suggested connecting immunisation records to genomic surveillance to identify variants involved in breakthrough infections.

 

Going forward, I propose:
1. Emerging variants must be assayed against sera from retrieved and vaccinated individuals to test for antigenic effects
2. Immunization records must be connected to genomic surveillance to identify variants involved in breakthrough infections
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— Trevor Bedford (@trvrb) December 19, 2020

Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, on Tuesday said the new virus strain has no have an effect on, as of now, on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines developed in India and world wide. India has suspended all flights to and from the United Kingdom, starting 11.59pm on December 22 till 11.59 pm on December 31 after several countries announced a ban on inbound shuttle from the United Kingdom.

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