New COVID19 variant may evade vaccine’s effectiveness: DAK

New COVID19 variant may evade vaccine’s effectiveness: DAK
File Photo of Dr Nisar ul Hassan

With the emergence of new mutated version of the novel coronavirus in United Kingdom and spreading to other countries, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Wednesday said it was possible that the changed virus might evade the effectiveness of COVID19 vaccine.

A statement of DAK issued here said that while it was anticipated that the vaccine efficacy would not be significantly hampered by mutated virus, DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan said the new variant might escape the immune response made by the existing vaccines that had been developed against the original strain of COVID19.  "A mutated coronavirus strain has wreaked havoc in UK, forcing the country to go into strictest lockdown," he said. "Dubbed VUI-202012/01 (first variant under investigation in December 2020), the mutant is more infectious than earlier strains of the virus," Dr Hassan said.

He said most COVID19 vaccines produce antibodies that disable the virus by gumming up its spike protein. "When the spike protein mutates, as it has in the new variant it could potentially evade antibodies by the vaccine that uses the older version of the spike protein," Dr Hassan said.

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