U.S. Army scientists see new COVID-19 strain could be vaccine resistant

As reports of a new COVID-19 strain spreading in the UK that appear more contagious than previous strains appear, American scientists at the Walter Reed Army Research Institute are investigating the effectiveness of the latest vaccine against any new strain.

Talking to CNNNelson Michael, a physician at the Center for Infectious Diseases Research at the Walter Reed Army Research Institute, generally anticipates that the vaccine will work against the mutation.

“Obviously this mutation is not a threat, but you never know. We still have to be diligent and keep looking,” he said.

Based on the reports submitted in GISAID, a journal that allows officials to share mutations in viruses such as COVID-19 and influenza, have reported multiple mutations in proteins across England, mainly in the virus glycoprotein, which are molecules that cover the outside of cells and play an important role in cell binding. from the human body.

Researchers at Walter Reed use computerized tests to understand how the changing virus could impact vaccines.

“Computer analysis will allow us to measure how careful we should be,” Michael said. “Other teams around the world are doing this analysis.”

Leadership in England has responded to reports of a COVID-19 mutant strain with new blockages to stop transmission.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that by now, the flowering of COVID-19 vaccines should continue to be effective against the virus.

“There is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine will be less effective against the new variant. Our experts will continue to work to improve our understanding as soon as we can,” he told a news conference.

The UK approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech shortly before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light. More recently, the FDA has also approved the candidate for the Modern Emergency Vaccine. Mass vaccination of health workers and long-term care residents is currently underway.

A new strain seems like bad news for a newly approved vaccine, but experts say the viruses are constantly moving and will not necessarily cancel a vaccine.

“Even with mutations, the virus remains essentially the same,” said William Schaffner, an adviser to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It’s like being with a person. I can change my brown coat for a gray coat, but I’m still Bill Schaffner. I’ve changed something, but I’m still the same person.”