December 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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This variant gives immunity to others

This variant gives immunity to others
AFP / L. Venance

According to a preliminary study, people with the South African variant have better immunity to the initial stress of coronavirus and other variants.

This study was conducted by the South African scientific team that discovered the South African variant 501Y.V2, but has not yet been submitted to the scientific community for evaluation and contains only a very small number of subjects. However, it raises hopes that a vaccine based on this variant may protect against future mutations in the coronavirus.

High levels of antibodies

According to data from a study submitted by a team of scientists in the Genomic Surveillance Network (NGS-SI, South Africa), only 4% of the 55 cases already infected with 501Y.V2 were able to overcome the disease. ‘Contaminated with the original strain of the new coronavirus.

South African scientists said on Wednesday that the plasma had “good neutralizing action” against plasma “first wave” viruses from infected people and other disturbing new variants.

“501Y.V2 can produce a high level of antibody that can neutralize it,” virologist Tulio de Oliveira explained in a video conference that the immune response outperforms other variants.

At the meeting, South African Health Minister Jeweli Mkhaiz described the discovery as “good news for all”, indicating hope that it would accelerate towards pandemic control.

According to this study, the antibodies generated by the South African variant were found to be 100% effective against the Brazilian variant, but only in a small sample of seven patients.

Hopes for vaccination

“The results of this study are primarily based on the South African variant which tells us that we have good hopes of success if we are vaccinated,” said Salim Abdul Karim, an epidemiologist and senior adviser to the South African government.

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Mutations in the new coronavirus, some of which appear to be more contagious, reduce the excitement around the vaccine campaign, while some vaccines appear to be less effective against them. Manufacturers have recently slightly modified their vaccines to accommodate mutations.

American laboratory Moderna recently announced in mid-March that it would launch a clinical trial of a version of the vaccine specifically adapted for the South African variant.

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