Relaxing hygiene and distance measures could increase risk of vaccine-resistant variants, study claims

Corona testingPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB
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As more and more people are getting vaccinated, relief in masks and distance measures is being implemented. But such relief increases the risk of vaccine-resistant variants of the virus developing, a new study shows.

At a time when 60% of Europe’s population has received at least one dose of the corona vaccine, the models show that it is necessary to maintain the usual precautionary measures until everyone has been fully vaccinated, researchers claim.

A group of researchers from all over Europe has tested how the virus mutates by changing variables such as vaccination and infection rate. They wanted to look at the likelihood of vaccine-resistant viruses emerging in a population of 10 million people over a three-year period.

Impact of vaccination

As expected, the models showed that rapid vaccination reduced the risk of resistant variants. 

However, the models also showed that the greatest danger for the development of resistant variants is when a large proportion of the population has been vaccinated, but that the proportion is not yet large enough to ensure herd immunity.

The researchers emphasized the need to maintain other anti-virus measures in place until everyone has been vaccinated. 

They noted that relaxation of measures before herd immunity is obtained increases the risk of vaccine-resistant variants developing.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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