Spain detects second case of South African Covid-19 variant

Experts had raised concerns about undue haste and a lack of transparency with the Sputnik V vaccine

Ever since scientists started tracking the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, it has become a cause of concern that the virus has developed multiple variants that began emerging in the fall of 2020.

At the time of writing, the BBC reported 11 cases of the new variant in Bristol and a cluster of 32 cases in Liverpool.

On Monday, Public Health England said that scientists have discovered a mutation of the United Kingdom coronavirus strain that they suggested may make COVID-19 more resistant to vaccines.

Preliminary clinical trial data on vaccines from Novavax Inc and Johnson & Johnson also showed they were significantly less effective at preventing COVID-19 in trial participants in South Africa, where the potent new variant is widespread.

Possibly, there may be more occurrences that have not yet been discovered.

It's no longer unexpected that the COVID-19 strains are taking place, or they will continue changing.

He called on people to follow the current lockdown rules and only leave the home if it was essential.

Otherwise, the expert explained, not only the virus can carry on to spread, it can evolve, as well.

Covid 19 coronavirus: UK variant mutates again and may be able to evade vaccines and immune system
Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine remained active against South Africa variant, effect reduced: lab study

He said that allowing spread could allow a "melting pot" for different emerging variants. However, the body's immune response may not be as strong.

But the European Union commission chief defended the slower Covid-19 vaccine in the EU, telling French newspaper Le Monde: "The commission and the member states agreed not to compromise on the safety and effectiveness requirements linked to the authorisation of a vaccine".

Twelve serum samples each taken from recipients of two vaccines developed by a subsidiary of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and a unit of Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products retained neutralising activity against the South African variant, their researchers said in a paper.

A silver lining may be that the variants are mutating in a similar way rather than diverging from each other.

The University of Cambridge's Professor Ravi Gupta explained, this gives "us a sign that it has certain favored routes", and they could work to block such variants off using a vaccine.

Former UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the race was on to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible in order to keep a step ahead of the virus.

Protocols like hand-washing, social and physical distancing and wearing a face mask will still help in avoiding infections.


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