Researchers: New studies suggest that corona vaccines don’t provide good protection against virus mutations

Corona vaccinePhoto: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB
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New studies suggest that the corona vaccine does not provide much immunity to the new virus variants from South Africa and Brazil. 

Recently, various research groups have tested the immunity of people who had COVID-19 or have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to the new virus variants.

The vaccines seem to work quite well against the British variant, molecular biologist and special adviser in the Cancer Society Sigrid Bratlie told news bureau NTB.

“But for the mutations from South Africa and Brazil, one sees a significantly weakened effect of the vaccine and immunity. The results are worrying,” Bratlie said, referring to two studies from Rockefeller University in the USA and the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa.

Re-infections

The studies indicate, among other things, that both the South African and Brazilian virus variants completely bypass antibodies from the blood of people who have previously been infected. 

In addition, people in both Brazil and South Africa who have undergone COVID-19 have been re-infected with the new virus variants.

And it is particularly worrying that the two vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna – that have been approved so far – seem to affect viruses that have these mutations to a lesser degree, Bratlie warns.

However, she emphasized that there is currently uncertainty about the results and that these laboratory studies have not been peer-reviewed.

New wave?

The results may mean that even if the entire Norwegian population is fully vaccinated, there could be a new corona wave due to new virus variants.

“It is not unlikely that we will see a boom and a new wave. Viruses with new mutations get very good growth conditions when the original virus is put out of action,” Bratlie noted.

“The question is at what time it will happen. But we must be prepared for this. The infection situation will be challenging for a while longer,” she added.

On Thursday, the EU’s infection control agency ECDC asked the countries in Europe to prepare stricter measures and increase the pace of vaccination to step up the fight against more infectious corona variants. 

The mutations discovered in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa increase the risk of a new wave of infection.

New vaccine

If the vaccines do not work against the mutations, it may be necessary for those already vaccinated to receive a new dose of customized vaccines.

With the new technology that has already been used to develop several corona vaccines, it is possible to quickly adapt the vaccine to new virus variants.

“It’s not the technology that matters. The question is how quickly one is willing to approve new vaccines,” Bratlie said.

Source: #Norway Today, #NorwayTodayNews

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