The B.1.1.7 British COVID variant is sweeping across the United States. How will vaccines fare?

Credit: Little Village
Credit: Little Village

The B.1.1.7 variant, first spotted in the UK, is not only more easily transmitted, but it also appears to be more deadly. Dr. Anthony Fauci warned about it [March 19] in a White House coronavirus update.

It was first spotted in Colorado at the end of December, said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Biden.

“Since then it has been detected in 50 jurisdictions in the United States, and likely accounts now for about 20 to 30% of the infections in this country. And that number is growing,” Fauci said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Fauci pointed to one study showing a 64% increased risk of death for people infected with B.1.1.7 compared to those infected with the older, so-called wild-type variant. 

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Real-life use of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines indicate that while the B.1.1.7 variant can elude, somewhat, the immune response prompted by immunization, it’s not enough to make the vaccines any less effective in protecting people. That’s because the vaccines cause a broad immune response so that even if it’s a little weakened, it’s still powerful enough to prevent serious disease and death.

Read the original post

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Related article:  Olympian Caster Semenya cleared to compete as a woman without taking testosterone-reducing drugs
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend