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Beta variant can evade the immune response generated by the AstraZeneca vaccine more efficiently – say experts

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Aakash Molpariya
Aakash started in Nov 2018 as a writer at Revyuh.com. Since joining, as writer, he is mainly responsible for Software, Science, programming, system administration and the Technology ecosystem, but due to his versatility he is used for everything possible. He writes about topics ranging from AI to hardware to games, stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. He is a trained IT systems engineer and has studied computer science. By the way, he is enthusiastic about his own small projects in game development, hardware-handicraft, digital art, gaming and music. Email: aakash (at) revyuh (dot) com

The COVID-19 beta variant is already spreading in France and may also threaten other areas of the world.

COVID-19 cases, including hospitalizations and fatalities, were shown to be greater during the second wave, when the Beta strain was more prevalent than the Alpha strain.

Researchers are now warning that the vaccination may be less effective for this strain.

Professor John Edmunds of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Radio 4 Today:

The Beta variant has remained a threat throughout.

It is probably less infectious than the Delta variant that is spreading here in the UK at the moment. Where it has an advantage is that it is able to escape the immune response to a better extent.

As the population here becomes more and more immune, the conditions are right then for the Beta variant to get an advantage, so I can understand the concern.

Of the variants that are out there and are known about, that one has always been a threat to us. There is some good evidence from South Africa that it can evade the immune response generated by the AstraZeneca vaccine more efficiently.

Earlier research discovered that the Beta version might evade antibodies obtained from people who had previously been exposed to COVID-19.

Antibodies are immunological proteins that attach to and neutralise external invaders such as viruses.

They get generated as a result of a natural infection or a vaccine.

Because the Beta version may escape antibodies, experts warn that individuals who have already caught the novel coronavirus may catch this new variety despite their current immunity.

Even more worrying is that evidence has suggested it may evade vaccine effects.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the Beta variant seems to spread more readily, with a 50 percent increase in transmission compared to earlier circulating types.

The health site added:

It also reduces the effectiveness of some monoclonal antibody medications and the antibodies generated by a previous COVID-19 infection or COVID-19 vaccine.

Some research suggests that COVID-19 vaccines are slightly less effective against the variants.

Professor Mark Woolhouse said on the emergence of a new more dangerous coronavirus variant:

“It could be but there are literally hundreds of variants around the world.

“We don’t know where the next variant of concern, one that will actually threaten public health, will come from.

“This is an international issue.”

Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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