New COVID Strain 2021 Update: Will Vaccines and Ivermectin be effective against new COVID19 Strains?
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New COVID Strain 2021 Update: Will Vaccines and Ivermectin be effective against new COVID-19 Strains? UK Variant and South African Variant Explained
Viruses constantly mutate and new variants and strains emerge and multiple variants of SARS-CoV2 have already been documented. The term “strain” is specific to the virus, SARS-CoV2, but not COVID-19, the disease. The term “variant” is used to classify viruses that have developed a specific group of mutations that causes it to behave differently than the strain it originated from. So far, scientists are classifying the new mutations found in the UK, South Africa, Nigeria and Brazil as “variants” but some are now suggesting the South African variants, 501Y.V2, is very concerning and should be classified as a new strain.
With the recent rollout of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, the biggest questions on everyone’s minds are “will these variants affect the vaccine efficacy” and “are these new variants more infectious” ? While researchers are optimistic that the current vaccines will be effective against the UK variant, there is growing concern over the South African variant.
So in this video, I will be going over these new SAR-CoV2 variants and more importantly address the concerns over vaccines and current medication effectiveness.
According to reports, the UK variant, B.1.1.7, was first detected in September but it wasn’t until mid-December that health officials noted rapid spread through the UK especially in London and southeast England. This variant has an unusually large number of mutations especially in the receptor binding domain, N501Y, in the spike protein that causes the virus to bind more readily to the ACE2 receptors and spread more easily than other variants and has now been detected in the United States and Canada.
The South African variant, 501Y.V2 was originally detected in early October, 2020 and is now the predominant variant, overwhelming hospitals and mortality in South Africa. While it shares some mutations with the UK variant, the south African variant carries a specific mutation in the receptor binding domain of the virus’s spike protein called E484K, that the UK variant doesn’t have.
This is an important site because this is where neutralizing antibodies induced by infection or vaccination bind to the virus and why some scientists are worried the vaccines could be less effective in the South Africa variant. In past few weeks, this variant has been detected in Finland, UK, Australia, Japan, South Korea and is now the dominant strain in Zambia. However there are no reports as of today that it has been detected in the US but in my opinion, it is just a matter of time before we see this strain in the US.
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