Tests raise fears that Coronavirus is learning to resist the vaccine

New data suggests that the two COVID-19 vaccines are far less effective in South Africa than the sites where they were tested, raising fears that coronoviruses could incorporate the world’s most powerful devices Removing it quickly.

The US company Novavax reported this week that its vaccine was nearly 90% effective in clinical trials conducted in the UK, a figure that fell to 49% in South Africa – and nearly all infections analyzed by the company in South Africa B.1.351 The variants that emerged there late last year and spread to the United States and at least 30 other countries.

Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that its new shot was 72% effective at preventing moderate or severe disease in the United States, compared to 66% 57% in Latin America and South Africa.

Laboratory tests had already suggested that two vaccines authorized in the United States – made by Pfizer-Bayonet and Moderna – trigger a shortened immune response to the South African version.

There is now evidence from trials in people that some variants are less vulnerable to certain vaccines.

“From an evolutionary biology perspective, this is completely expected and anticipated,” Dr. Said Michael Mina, a Harvard epidemiologist. “But it’s so scary that nothing feels good to be valid.”

Researchers once believed that it would take several months or even years for the virus to develop vaccine resistance. He said the rapid growth is largely a result of uncontrolled spread of the virus. More than 100 million people have been infected worldwide, and each of those infections is an opportunity for the virus to be mutated randomly.

A mutation that gives the virus an advantage – the body’s ability to resist natural defenses, for example – can form the basis of a cardiac variant.

An early indication that this process was underway was the significant number of people who were contracting coronovirus for the second time. His immune system training received during the first infection seemed to have failed to protect him from newer versions of the virus.

Scientists at Moderna and Pfizer-BioNotech expressed concern that the same could happen with immunity induced by their vaccines. In laboratories, he took several versions of the virus and exposed him to blood samples from very few people who had been vaccinated.

Neutralizing antibodies produced in response to the modern vaccine were equally effective against the original coronavirus and strain B.1.1.7 that emerged in the United Kingdom but were much less effective against the South African strain. Pfizer’s vaccine was slightly less effective than the South Africa version, compared to others.

Experts cautioned that laboratory tests were an incomplete model for understanding immune responses in people.

Harvard Epidemiologist, Mark Lipsich, said that other parts of the immune system, such as T-cells, may play a role in fighting variables, even when antibodies are downregulated.

This is why the trial of Novavax – the first topic to test the interaction between variants and vaccines in the real world.

Dr. UCLA, an infectious disease researcher. Otto Yang said, “Those who have been vaccinated have become infected with the variant – this is the real proof in the pudding.”

Novavax cautioned that its South Africa study, which included about 4,400 patients, was too small to offer accurate measurements on the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Johnson & Johnson’s results provided further evidence that the problem was serious. Experts said the weakening of the vaccine in South Africa – where it was tested at around 6,500 people – was almost certainly the result of a predominance of widely roaming variants. Researchers believe it is more contagious than other variants and has become more common since testing began in September in South Africa and elsewhere.

Researchers said the variants were also likely to be blamed for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine subpar in Latin America – where more than 17,000 people were tested in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

Mutations of greatest concern occur on spike proteins on the surface of the virus, as the current crop of vaccines train the immune system to recognize that protein. Mutations there increase the likelihood that the virus will slip by undetermined.

Mina compared the process of searching for a criminal by remembering only the presence of his nose and mouth. First, it may prove sufficient. But if the criminal gets a nose job, then you will know yourself about the texture of his eyes, ears and hair.

Meena said that we needed a more diverse arsenal of vaccines, employing a wide variety of approaches to address the issue.

Meanwhile, Modern has announced efforts to develop a booster shot to pair with its current two-shot to close the South African version. The company also plans to test whether a third shot of the original formula can help with other strains.

BioNTech, the company that worked with Pfizer on its shot, is also considering developing an adjusted vaccine.

The United States on Thursday reported two of its first known cases of the South African version in two people. Britain’s trunk, also considered more contagious, is roaming here.

In a briefing for reporters on Friday, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that there is confirmation that more infectious strains in the US are now a “wake-up call” that meets the need for rapid vaccination. Americans.

“We can vaccinate as many people as we can,” is the key to slowing the virus’s potential, he said. “Viruses cannot mutate if they cannot be replicated.”

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. According to Rochelle Wallensky, the US is vaccinating an average of 1.2 million people per day.

Experts say it is still very slow, as it is not known what kind of improved versions will exist until the vaccination campaign reaches critical mass.

They insist that vaccination should be accompanied by defensive tactics such as masking and social disturbances until the number of cases is reduced.

“If you think you’re just going to get your vaccination this way, it’s going to be kind of weird-a-mole,” said Susan Butler-Wu, director of clinical microbiology at LAC + USC Medical Center said.

An effective vaccination campaign should eventually spread worldwide. If an influential strain were to pop up in the next year, for example, Brazil, even a fully vaccinated US could be in danger.

“You can vaccinate the hell out of America,” Mina said, but “we are all at risk until everyone is protected.”

Fauci called on the government to increase its ability to detect new viral mutations. Genetic sequencing efforts have been fragmented, relying on academics and other groups to voluntarily upload their findings and pass them along. In all, the United States sequences only 1% of the millions of positive samples collected during routine testing for coronaviruses.

“We’re shining a flashlight around in the dark, hopefully we spot dangerous variants,” said Anne Rimoin, an epidemiologist at UCLA. “What we really need to do is flip the lights on.”

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