January 16, 2022

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Current COVID-19 vaccines need to be reassessed due to Omicron variants

Current COVID-19 vaccines need to be reassessed due to Omicron variants

Current COVID-19 vaccines need to be reassessed due to Omicron variants



Current COVID-19 vaccines need to be reassessed due to Omicron variants

The strongest new coronavirus mutants appear or have evolved from AIDS patients, and the effect of mRNA vaccines needs to be reassessed.

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 epidemic, new mutant strains have continued to appear, from Alpha, to Beta, Gamma, and then to Delta, which has swept the world.

The emergence also reduces the protective effect of the vaccine.

On November 25, 2021, the South African National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) issued a statement stating that South Africa has detected a new coronavirus mutant strain- B.1.1.529 . At present, the mutant strain has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong , China .

UK Health and Safety Bureau, said, B.1.1.529 there is a spike protein (S protein) , with different original spike protein in the novel coronavirus, which is the most important COVID-19 mutant strains found so far, need to determine as soon as possible Whether the mutant strain will cause the vaccine to be ineffective.

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) included B.1.1.529 on the Variant of Concern (VOC) and named it Omicron .

Tulio de Oliveira , director of the South Africa Epidemic Response and Innovation Center, said that there are at least 50 mutations in B.1.1.529 , 30 of which are in the spike protein (S protein) .

As we all know, the spike protein (S protein) is the key to the coronavirus infecting human cells. The spike protein binds to the ACE2 receptor on the cell surface to infect cells.

Most of the current COVID-19 vaccines, especially mRNA vaccines, are designed for the spike protein (S protein) .

B.1.1.529 has so many mutations on the spike protein, which may affect the virus’s infectious ability and escape immunity. System capabilities.

Current COVID-19 vaccines need to be reassessed due to Omicron variants

In view of the “terrifying nature” of this mutant strain, the World Health Organization (WHO) is holding an emergency meeting to discuss countermeasures.

Maria Van Kerkhove , a WHO epidemiologist, said it may take several weeks to understand the actual impact of the mutant strain.

South Africa, in terms of the total number of COVID-19 infections and the number of deaths, is the country with the worst COVID-19 epidemic in Africa.

South Africa has been in a relatively bottleneck state after experiencing the third wave of severe infections until the number of infections suddenly started to increase last week.

On Thursday, the South African National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD) reported 2,465 new cases, which is twice the number of the previous day.

Although there is no evidence yet, local scientists suspect that this new wave of infections in South Africa is related to B.1.1. .529 related.

The United Kingdom stated that starting at noon this Friday, flights from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia will be banned.

The European Union also intends to suspend flights from these regions. Some Asian and European countries have also tightened. Travel restrictions.

The Ministry of Health of Singapore stated that it would restrict the entry of people from South Africa and nearby countries. Italy has imposed entry bans on people who have been to some southern African countries, including South Africa, in the past 14 days.

Germany declared South Africa a “virus variant area.” Japan has strengthened entry controls for tourists from South Africa and five other African countries.

It is winter and Christmas is approaching. Many Europeans and Americans have started indoor gatherings to celebrate Christmas, which provides a perfect breeding ground for the COVID-19 virus.

Generally speaking, Asian countries, especially China, are superior to other regions in containing the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing strict preventive measures, strict inspections and border controls.

Previously, a 36-year-old South African patient with advanced AIDS was found to be infected with the new coronavirus in September 2020. The new coronavirus persisted in her body for 216 days.

Tests showed that the new coronavirus in her body had 32 genetic mutations, of which There are 13 mutations in the spike protein (S protein) that is essential for the infection and invasion of the new coronavirus , and the remaining 19 mutations may change the behavior of the new coronavirus.

These include the E484K mutation of the Alpha mutant and the N510Y mutation of the Beta mutant. More importantly, after the identification of the new coronavirus mutant strain in her body, it was found that its ability to escape antibody neutralization was stronger.

If the HIV virus replicates for a long time and causes severe damage to the immune system, the new coronavirus will be completely eliminated after AIDS patients are infected with the new coronavirus. The environment in patients with advanced AIDS creates unique conditions for the new coronavirus to produce dangerous mutations and evolution.

In Natal Province, South Africa, where the B.1.1.529 mutant strain appeared this time , new mutant strains have frequently appeared before. The proportion of HIV-positive adults in this region is as high as one-fourth. Therefore, some researchers believe that B.1.1. The 529 mutant strain may have evolved in AIDS patients.

Reference materials:
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03552-w

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.03.21258228v1

Current COVID-19 vaccines need to be reassessed due to Omicron variants

(source:internet, reference only)


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