Covid Variants

Messages
5,846
Likes
13,810
Location
South east England
In the UK we had the original virus. Then in the autumn the "Kent" variant turned up. More transmissible but otherwise not a problem. Vaccines work against it. But there are now small numbers of a new "Kent" strain. This has the E484 mutation, which is the same as the "South African" variant. Vaccines might not be so effective against it.
 

ljimbo423

Senior Member
Messages
4,533
Likes
12,151
Location
United States, New Hampshire
This was posted just yesterday. Monday February 8, 2021


BioNTech-Pfizer COVID vaccine effective against 2 variants

A lab study has found the vaccine effective against UK and South Africa variants. German Health Minister Jens Spahn has voiced his confidence in the EU's three approved vaccines.

A peer review has confirmed that the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine is effective against two variants of the coronavirus, the companies announced on Monday.


The review, which was published in the journal Nature Medicine, backed the results of a study completed by Pfizer and the University of Texas in late January.


When the study was originally released, BioNTech and Pfizer said its finding suggested that no new vaccine would be necessary to fight coronavirus mutations first discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa.


Nevertheless, the continuous transformation of the deadly virus makes clinical data and constant observation imperative. Experts say that it is not a foregone conclusion that vaccines currently in use will remain effective against possible new variants of the virus in the future.
 
Messages
8,216
Likes
22,212
Location
Massachusetts
The good news is that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are made in such a way that it would be easy to tweak them in order to better protect against variants, so we won't need to start from square one with vaccine development.

One thing I'm curious about is whether vaccines may provide some degree of protection against the variants, even if it's not perfect protection, and still make severe disease less likely.
 
Messages
5,846
Likes
13,810
Location
South east England
One thing I'm curious about is whether vaccines may provide some degree of protection against the variants, even if it's not perfect protection, and still make severe disease less likely.
It's to soon to be certain about this, but from lab research it seems the vaccines currently in use do provoke an antibody response against the variants. But the response may be less effective. However its still enough to stop serious disease or death. Only time will tell if these results are seen in the "real world" as scientists over here like to say.
 
Messages
5,846
Likes
13,810
Location
South east England
Experts say that it is not a foregone conclusion that vaccines currently in use will remain effective against possible new variants of the virus in the future.
Our scientists in Oxford are currently developing an updated version of the Astra Zenica/Oxford vaccine. Sounds like the strategy will be to use it as a booster in the autumn against the known variants. I have absolute confidence in the people behind this.
 

ljimbo423

Senior Member
Messages
4,533
Likes
12,151
Location
United States, New Hampshire
Our scientists in Oxford are currently developing an updated version of the Astra Zenica/Oxford vaccine. Sounds like the strategy will be to use it as a booster in the autumn against the known variants. I have absolute confidence in the people behind this.
I think we are doing the same thing here in the United States. I also think this is an easy fix so to speak, with the vaccines, from what I've heard from the experts.

Once enough of the worlds population gets vaccinated, these mutations will slow and hopefully the worry of Covid will be behind us shortly there after.
 

bertiedog

Senior Member
Messages
1,686
Likes
3,246
Location
South East England, UK
Once enough of the worlds population gets vaccinated, these mutations will slow and hopefully the worry of Covid will be behind us shortly there after.
I think I heard on the BBC that it would take at least 2-3 years for this to happen at the earliest because of all the rich countries buying up so many vaccines. I think vaccine nationalism is a real issue unfortunately.

Pam
 
Messages
5,846
Likes
13,810
Location
South east England
A new variant has been identified recently. Called the Indian Varient it shares some of the difference with the Brazilian and South African ones ie it may be more infectious and be able to partly evade antibodies. But it has an additional change that might make it even better at evading antibodies so it could be the worst version of Covid yet. Spreading through India it has become the dominant strain- 60% of cases-. UK has introduced strict border controls with India. Anyone who come here from there has to spend about 2 weeks in quarantine at a hotel. Unfortunately it's already here.
 
Messages
5,846
Likes
13,810
Location
South east England
We have an outbreak of the Indian variant now in the Greater Manchester area of England. Cases have more than doubled in about a week. About 1,400 now. The authorities are jumping on it, but I think they will have a bit of a problem in controlling it. But on the bright side hospital admissions have not changed much in that area nor has the death rate.
 
Messages
5,846
Likes
13,810
Location
South east England
The latest thoughts from our Governments scientific advisors is that the Indian variant may be 50% more transmissible than the dominant strain in the UK, which is the "Kent variant". The plan now is to bring forward our second shots by a month to try to deal with it. It's all a bit troubling.
 
Messages
5,846
Likes
13,810
Location
South east England
The latest thoughts from our Governments scientific advisors is that the Indian variant may be 50% more transmissible than the dominant strain in the UK, which is the "Kent variant".
Some new data about the Indian variant has been released by UK GOV. It is almost certain to be 40% more transmissible. Our lockdown was due to end on 21st June. This might be delayed now.