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Coronavirus Variant Strain – Is The Vaccines Effective Against It?

Coronavirus Variant
Credit: bbc.com

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of damage to almost every individual and continues to do so. However, with the advent of vaccination, hope for a better future arises, and so the British government officially started vaccination of people on a large scale. 

Formulation of COVID-19 vaccines is done by well-known pharmaceutical companies and biotechnological companies. European countries have purchased coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer/ BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines to vaccinate the large population as soon as next summer. 

However, the discovery of a new variant of COVID-19 called B.1.1.7 has again caused unrest in people. Also, this strain spreads more quickly, and information about it is little. 

From Where Did The Variant COVID-19 Strain Originate?

The impact of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus strain, in the long run, is yet unknown. So far, what is known is that the variant strain called B.1.1.7 is linked to the United Kingdom. However, according to Dr. Atul Gawande, the new-strain will soon be seen in other states as well, which is just a matter of time. 

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Colorado has announced the first case of variant coronavirus, same as that discovered in the UK. According to the World Health Organization, the new variant B.1.1.7 origin is southeast England. 

Public Health England, by backward tracing and using genetic evidence, found the variant to emerge in September. From their onwards, the variant strain circulates on a small scale until mid-November. 

Sharon Peacock is a professor of public health and microbiology at the University of Cambridge. According to Sharon, scientists do not know whether the variant coronavirus originates from southeast England or was introduced in Southeast England from somewhere else. 

Do B.1.1.7 The New Variant Of Coronavirus Spread At A Faster Rate?

According to worldwide health authorities, variant B.1.1.7 spreads more quickly than the previous COVID-19 strain, but the variant strain is less deadly than the previous coronavirus strain.

Public Health England agrees that variant B.1.1.7 is highly transmissible, but it does not increase the rate of hospitalization or deaths. Peter Horby is the Chair of the UK’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG). According to Peter, scientists were confident until last week that the new variant is spreading quickly.  Moreover, it transmits at a rate of 70% more than the previously identified COVID-19 strain.

According to Peter Horby, scientists believe that the new variant has biological variations that enable it to travel and spread at a much faster rate than the previous strain. However, Peter adds that the scientist is still searching for different scenarios and aspects of the variant coronavirus. 

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Is The Variant Strain Lethal For Children? Will The Vaccine Be Effective For New Strain?

The variant B.1.1.7 can be more infectious for children as per the saying of scientist Neil Ferguson. The Science Media Center organized a briefing last week in which a member of NERVTAG, Neil Ferguson, said that variant B.1.1.7 has a high potential of causing infection in children. However, he said that obtaining more data will prove whether the variant strain is lethal for children or not. 

So far, no cases of the vaccine not being-effective have occurred, but to ensure the two coronavirus vaccine formulators are testing their shots. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are investigating their formulations separately against the variant B.1.1.7 strain of coronavirus to ensure effectiveness. 

Furthermore, according to these firms, two mutations already occur in coronavirus, but their formulations were effective against those two forms of COVID-19. According to Adm. Brett Giroir, he also believes that coronavirus vaccines will be effective against new strains. They have shown promising results against the previous two variations and are likely to be effective against the new strain. 

 

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Adeena Tariq Lari

The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.

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