For more than a year, world’s facing a pandemic that affects our way of living and changes our way of thinking. As all viruses tend to mutate rapidly, NEW COVID-19 VARIANTS arise. They’re neither something unexpected, nor unlikely to happen. All global experts madei multiple researches on a daily basis. Though, there’s been still a numerous questions and concerns that are bothering us.
Scientists call these changes ‘mutations’, and one or more mutations and refer them as NEW COVID-19 VARIANTS. Genomic sequencing is what’s observing them, in order to achieve a better view of their characteristics. As from the fall ot 2020, there are 5 variants of concern. They spread quicker and easier than the previous. Moreover, they decrease the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, they are likely to cause more severe disease:
First detected in Kent, UK in September 2020, it’s supposed to be with increased transmissibility and mortality.
First detected in South Africa in October 2020. Besides increased transmissibility, it reduces the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines
First detected in Brazil in December 2020, it’s equipped with a set of mutations, which affects its ability to be recognized by the antibodies.
First detected in the U.S.-California. Besides increased transmissibility, it reduces the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
First detected in the U.S.- California. Besides increased transmissibility, it reduces the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
While this list is updated on a regular basis, as new variants emerge over and over, the main question we need to be answered stay one and the same, and that is:
Fortunately, all expert virologists share the same opinion on this –
YES, but the effectiveness will not be the same. That doesn’t mean the vaccines will become ineffective, because in building the immune response they’re using a range of antibodies and cells. Protection and treatment are the best way of stopping the coronavirus from spreading so far, and we should be twice more careful in safety precautions.
However, it seems to be easy to achieve, as all global efforts are made in this direction. While the World Health Organization (WHO) is tracking COVID-19 since the beginning through its global collaboration GISAID, and encourages scientists of all countries to share their data, since 17th February European Commission is building communication on its project HERA Incubator.
Both are determined in risk assessment, monitoring, data exchange and cooperation on adapting vaccines, so that vaccines are adjusted to new variants and approved as fast, as it could be.
In fact, the UK government is developing a new technology for tracking known COVID-19 variants, besides genomic sequencing. It’s called ‘genotype assay testing’. it saves time, compared to the other method and it’s been on trial for a few days. It aims at testing every positive test sample, in order to identify variants of concern, traces contacts quicker and eventually stops the disease from spreading.
As we never witnessed global scientists join forces like this before, we can be sure new COVID-19 variants should not be a reason of concern or overreact. We are to keep measures, continue vaccination and treatment. Now we’ve already accomplished in months what costs years. And yet, we succeeded. After all, we deal with mutations for the flu virus every year, but we hold it under control anyway by tracking it. Why not do the same with coronavirus either?
MVS Pharma GmbH is an innovative pharmaceutical start-up company, which researches in the area of reducing viruses and bacteria with plant based aerosols. Their special formula ensures the purity and the stability of the used ingredients during storage.
Liliya Ganeva is an article writer, who explores all the actual, up-to-date COVID-19 information, and the possibilities for producing aerosols made out of plants against respiratory viruses and bacteria.