People who suffered from COVID-19 during the first wave may be less protected from the new strain of coronavirus despite the presence of antibodies, says Dr Ancha Baranova, a professor at George Mason University’s School of Systemic Biology(USA).
“This news (detection of the new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus) has to do with those who suffered from COVID-19 during the first wave: they may be insufficiently protected against a new infection,” said the scientist.
Baranova said that new strains of the coronavirus may reduce the effectiveness of vaccines somewhat, but will not render them ineffective in any way.
“New strains of the coronavirus may perhaps influence the efficacy of the vaccine, but they would never make it completely ineffective … For example, the efficacy would be 91% and not 99,” Baranova explained.
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She pointed out that “nothing happens because we know that vaccines are not eternal and revaccination may be needed.”
“The worst thing that can happen would be the need for annual revaccination,” added George Mason University’s School of Systemic Biology professor.
On December 19, the health authorities of the United Kingdom confirmed the presence in the south of the British territory of a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 that spreads more quickly and could be 70% more contagious.
At the moment there is no evidence that this mutation affects the severity of symptoms, the fatality rate, the response of antibodies or the effectiveness of vaccines.
Meanwhile, another strain of the coronavirus was registered in the Republic of South Africa.
Many countries have already announced the suspension of flights from the United Kingdom and South Africa to prevent the spread of new strains of the virus.