All eyes are now on mutations in the coronavirus – just as new strains of Covid-19 are spreading rapidly, more and more people are being infected, and the ability to block vaccines is even greater than these variants.
Why does the mutation of covid occur?
All viruses undergo mutations in order to survive and reproduce. Most of the time these changes are very subtle. Sometimes it is the virus that causes the damage. However, when major mutations occur in others, the disease becomes more contagious and increases the patient’s risk. When a person’s immune system is weakened by an infection or a vaccine, the virus breaks down the immune system by mutating itself.
What do we know about the different variants?
Thousands of variants of the coronavirus have spread around the world. But the UK, South Africa and Brazil variants are considered “worrying variants”. The UK or Kent variant (another name for B.1.1.7) was first seen in Britain. This variant has since spread to more than 50 countries. And it’s still mutating. The Brazil variant (P.1) has spread to more than 10 countries. This includes Britain. As many as 200 cases of India variant (B.1.617) have been registered in Britain till April 26. However, scientists believe that it has nothing to do with the current wave of Kovid-19 epidemic in India.
Is the new variant more dangerous?
No evidence has yet been found that the severity of the disease is much higher in most of those who have been infected with these variants. As seen in the case of the original form of corona, the elderly and those with obvious physical problems are also at higher risk in these variants. But for people who have not been vaccinated, the risk of dying from a more contagious virus is higher. Some studies have shown that individuals with a UK variant have a 30% higher risk of death. However, the evidence is not very strong. But for all types of corona strains, doctors advise the same: wash hands well, maintain social distance, use face masks, and ensure ventilation indoors.
How does the new variant change itself?
UK, South Africa, Brazil or Indian – all variants have changed their body spike protein. It is a part of the virus through which it can enter the human body cells. A mutation known as N501Y has been shown to give the virus a special advantage in infection and proliferation in body cells. Some experts believe that the UK / Kent variant is 80% more contagious, although Public Health England says it is 30% -50% contagious. An important mutation called E484K has also occurred in the Africa and Brazil variants. This allows the virus to escape the hands of the antibody. Antibodies are an important part of the body’s immune system. The India variant has also undergone some significant mutations which may have disrupted the immune system. That is why scientists are now conducting research on it on an urgent basis.
Will the vaccine work against the new variant?
The vaccines that are now available were developed to treat the original type of corona. However, scientists say that these will work against newer variants, but will be less effective. According to the data, it works against the new variant, but the effectiveness is low. According to the Oxford-AstraZeneca data, it is equally effective against the UK / Kent variant. However, it offers less protection against the South African variant. According to some preliminary results, the modern vaccine is effective against the South African variant. However, its immune response is weak and short-lived.
Do I need a booster vaccine for the new variant?
The British government has contracted a pharmaceutical company called Kiorvac to develop vaccines for future Corona variants. Fifty million doses of vaccine have also been pre-ordered. Future variants will depend on whether the elderly and people with severe physical problems will need such a booster vaccine by the end of this year. As it spreads faster, more and more people are now infected with them, and the ability to block vaccines outweighs these variants.