Health Care

Covid: What we know about effectiveness of vaccines against new variants

Covid: What we know about effectiveness of vaccines against new variants”

"The data do raise the possibility that the protection gained from past infection with COVID-19 may be lower for re-infection with the South African variant", Liam Smeeth of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told Reuters.

He explained that both variants have more differences in shape, which might mean they may not be recognised by antibodies.

"Through routine testing for anyone coming into the country, we were able to detect the new strain from samples collected". According to a recent study - not yet peer reviewed - a strain of novel coronavirus, which first emerged in South Africa, is said to escape the neutralizing antibodies from recovered patients.

During the briefing, Sir Patrick said: "It is important to recognise that there is no evidence that the South African or Brazillian variants have transmission advantages over what is already here".

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"It may also be that the new strain is circulating in different African countries but have not been identified".

"Furthermore, 501Y.V2 shows substantial or complete escape from neutralising antibodies in COVID-19 convalescent plasma", they wrote, adding that their conclusions "highlight the prospect of reinfection ... and may foreshadow reduced efficacy of current spike-based vaccines".

"So taking a result from a laboratory and saying, therefore, the vaccine will be 50 percent less effective, you just can't do it".

The authors tested the United Kingdom strain in the laboratory with antibody-rich blood plasma from 36 patients who had recovered from either mild or severe forms of COVID-19 and found most were able to neutralise the variant.

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