Corona vaccines are also currently showing an effect on most virus variants. Can the virus mutate so strongly that the vaccine loses its effectiveness?
In Great Britain and about 100 other countries, the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 is causing the number of cases to rise exponentially – in South Africa, on the other hand, mutant B.1.351 was developed and in Brazil the variant P1. The vaccination campaign is only gaining momentum in many countries. So many fear that the newly developed vaccines may lose their effectiveness again soon. However, experts give everything clearly.
Do vaccines also work against coronavirus mutations?
What spread to Germany British virus variant B.1.1.7 involvedVaccines appear to protect well. “So far, there are no indications of a significant decrease in the effectiveness of vaccinesWrites Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The situation is different with the South African B.1.351 and the Brazilian variant P1. Both feature a mutation in the spike protein that appears to affect antibody binding. Accordingly, the vaccines no longer work as well. According to a contribution from Deutschland Funk For example, the efficacy of Johnson & Johnson and Novavax vaccines for mutations in South Africa drops to 50 to 60 percent.. Astrazeneca is less effective and can barely prevent even the mildest courses of the disease.
However, there is no reason to be alarmed: because even with the South African alternative, hospital stays with Johnson & Johnson and Novavax could be prevented – So it is very effective against severe courses of Covid-19. There are still no clinical studies on the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Biontech / Pfizer. However, experts speak in favor of vaccination.
How can the effectiveness of existing vaccines against Corona mutations be increased?
The reduced effectiveness in the case of coronavirus mutations does not mean that currently available vaccines will soon become unnecessary. exist Two methods can be used to make these vaccines more effective He can:
- Booster vaccinationHere, after two regular doses of the vaccine, a third dose is given to increase the antibody level. Other vaccinations have already been successful.
- “Mix and match”Different vaccines are combined with each other. Clinical studies are already being carried out, for example testing the effectiveness of a mixture of Astrazeneca and Biontech. In fact, this aims to fill gaps in the vaccine supply – but it also likely increases efficacy, as each individual vaccine triggers a slightly different immune response. The results of the studies have not yet been awaited.
Also interesting: A urine test for Covid can predict whether Corona will take a dangerous course – regular approval has already been made.
No more impact with mutations? New vaccines can be developed at this speed
Vaccines are currently also showing efficacy with most of the variants present. However, new vaccines may actually be necessary at some point. But this topic is already being worked on in laboratories today, like deutschlandfunk.de Informed. In principle only information for A mutated spike protein can be incorporated into an existing vaccine formulation This greatly shortens vaccine development and can be completed within six weeks. Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Germany’s Paul Ehrlich Institute and other European regulatory authorities are studying ways to enable rapid approval. It is important that the manufacturing process be single and that the vaccine quality is guaranteed. In addition, the efficacy of the modified vaccine must be demonstrated in phase 3 clinical studies with a few hundred participants. Something similar is done every year with the flu shot. This way you can A new vaccine was launched on the market in just under six months Become. (fk)
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