existing expensive pharmaceuticals “appear to be effective” against it
“this updated vaccine will be effective at reducing severe disease and hospitalization” (nice bit of confident predicting there!)
and it is transmitting internationally because there are 9 cases across Denmark (3); South Africa (2); Israel (1); United States (2) and United Kingdom (1)..
Yes. 9 cases.
In the world.
The entire world.
Of c. 8,000,000,000 people.
But… in case you might be tempted to relax and not worry… they note reduced genome sequencing means “more variants may emerge and spread undetected for longer periods of time” … so they’ll keep an eye on everything and will update their assessment when they have more data.
… one of the concerns with using vaccines against coronaviruses is the concept of Original Antigenic Sin (OAS). This phenomenon is where the immune system is trained on the variant in the vaccine but upon encountering a new but similar version of the virus, it responds based on its memory of the original virus rather than the new one.
So, if you were vaccinated at the beginning of the pandemic and your body was trained on the original Wuhan spike protein, the hypothesis is that when you encounter a new variant, your body produces a response against the Wuhan virus and not the new variant. This could mean you have a less effective immune response to the new variant, if any at all.
On the other hand, if your immune system is primed through natural infection, it is trained on all the different parts of the virus, not just the spike protein. You still get OAS but this time, if the spike protein has mutated into a different variant, your body will still produce an appropriate response because it will still recognise other parts of the virus that mutate much more slowly.
But this has just been theory. A group of researchers wanted to investigate whether the theory held up in practice and have recently published their report… The hamsters were given a three-dose mRNA vaccination, similar to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine used in humans. After the vaccinations, the hamsters were exposed to different variants of SARS-CoV-2.
The researchers then measured various outcomes, such as the amount of viral RNA in the hamsters and the ability of the hamsters’ immune systems to neutralize the virus.
These are the results, which I will explain below…
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