As countries compete to vaccinate people against COVID-19, variants the coronavirus are again raising concerns around the world.
In the US, about 1.7 million people receive injections from drug makers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna every day. The two vaccines were approved for emergency use in late 2020 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drugs have also received permission for emergency use in Europe, South Korea and Japan.
Sputnik V, a vaccine developed by the Russian Ministry of Health, is being administered to people in Russia, Belarus, Venezuela, and other countries. China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines have received emergency use permission in China, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, and Egypt.
Several other vaccines, including those from drug makers Johnson & Johnson and Oxford-AstraZeneca, are awaiting decisions by health officials in some countries. At the same time, the United Nations-backed COVAX program wants to provide 2 billion vaccine treatments to reduceentry countries around the world to fight the virus.
Like other viruses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is always changing and has been changing all the time. Sometimes new variants appear and disappear. Other times, new variants appear and spread over many countries.
The head of Britain’s vaccination effort said the world faces around 4,000 variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. But three variants found from South Africa, Britain and Brazil are the most worrying.
Drug makers Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech said they are developing more Booster shots to fight the worrying variants. Others noted that his shots have shown different levels of effectiveness against the variants.
On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said drug manufacturers would not have to start new trials of tailored vaccines to fight the new variants. The health agency added that companies could use a similar process for the annual flu vaccine to test the effectiveness of updated vaccines.
Take the vaccine
Dr. Gigi Gronvall is a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He spoke to reporters last week to discuss vaccines and their effectiveness against variants of the coronavirus. Gronvall said some people are concerned the vaccine won’t work against the variants. But I wanted people to understand that if they can get a vaccine, they should.
“If you have been vaccinated and your friend has not, and both are exposed For someone who has the virus, the probability of getting sick is 95% lower, so you have a 95% lower risk than your friend. So that’s the way you should think about it. “
Dr. Andy Pekosz, another professor at Johns Hopkins University, joined Gronvall in the video call with reporters. He noted that the variants from South Africa and Britain came when the virus spread easily. He said that each time the virus moves to a new person, it can change slightly. Therefore, the way to prevent further changes in the virus is to prevent it from being transferred to a new person through vaccination.
“That’s really the critical thing. It has seen the appearance of variants at a time when countries have had top amounts of virus spread “.
The two scientists added that, along with vaccines, public health officials must continue emphasize other preventive measures, including wearing face covers and spending time in areas with good air flow.
I’m Dan Friedell.
Dan Friedell and Hai Do wrote this story. Mario Ritter, Jr. was the editor.
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Words in this story
variant – n. something that is different in some way from others of the same kind
entry -North. money earned from work, investments, and business; used to describe the average amount of money people make in a given location
booster shot) -North. an additional amount of a vaccine that is injected into a person or animal that improves or extends protection against a target disease
expose – v. causing something to be affected by a virus or something that could be harmful
emphasize – v. pay special attention to something
critical – adj. extremely important
top – adj. full of the greatest activity