What is the E484K COVID mutation? South Africa n variant shows 'alarming' change
'We fear this mutation might have an impact, and what we don't know is the extent of the impact,' said researcher Penny Moore.
.Penny Moore, from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a national public health institute in South Africa, told CNN:"We fear this mutation might have an impact, and what we don't know is the extent of the impact," describing the mutation as"alarming."
COVID-19 vaccines work by inducing the body's immune system to produce proteins known as antibodies that locate and neutralize thecoronavirus.There is emerging evidence from a handful of recent studies to suggest that E484K might enable the South African
coronavirusvariant to reduce the ability of some antibodies to neutralize the virus, including a non-peer-reviewed paper published on theprebioRxiv.Researchers around the world are still investigating whether or not the mutation will reduce the efficacy of vaccines—and if so, by how much. We won't know for sure until more research is published over the coming weeks. headtopics.com
At this stage, scientists think its unlikely that the E484K mutation could render currentCOVID-19 vaccines entirely useless or drastically reduce their efficacy.This is because the shots that are available induce a strong immune response, providing high-levels of protection against the virus.
Jeremy Luban, a virologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, toldNature:"If I had to bet right now, I would say the vaccines are going to remain effective for the things that really count—keeping people from getting deathly ill."
There is also some concern over what could happen as thecoronavirusaccumulates further new mutations over time.Paul Bieniasz, a virologist at the Rockefeller University, told CNN:"It creates more opportunities for the virus to learn how to be resistant to the vaccine."
He said:"It's going to be, over time, likely chipping away at vaccine efficacy, but we're not going to fall off a cliff tomorrow."A stock image shows an illustration of Read more: Newsweek »
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