The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the mutant virus found in the United Kingdom does not significantly affect the effectiveness of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.
On the other hand, it has been pointed out that the mutant virus found in South Africa and Brazil has a mutation that escapes the attack of the antibody, which may weaken the effect of the vaccine, and each manufacturer is investigating the effect on the effect of the vaccine. ..
Pfizer "Experimental results showing the effect were obtained"
Pfizer, a major US pharmaceutical company, has announced that it has obtained experimental results showing the effectiveness of vaccines for mutant viruses found in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
The company has already conducted experiments on cells using the antibodies of vaccinated people, and said that it obtained experimental results showing that it is effective against the mutant virus found in the United Kingdom.
For the mutant virus found in South Africa, experiments have shown that the antibody is one-third less effective in neutralizing the virus, but the company says there is no evidence that the mutant virus can escape the vaccine attack. We will continue to carry out detailed verification.
In addition, Pfizer and Biontech announced on February 25 that they will begin a clinical trial of a third dose of the mutant virus to confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Manufacture of vaccine candidates for Moderna South Africa
American pharmaceutical company Moderna is conducting similar experiments on its own vaccine.
According to it, there was no noticeable change in the effect on the mutant virus found in the United Kingdom, but the value showing the function of the antibody against the mutant virus found in South Africa was reduced to about one sixth. ..
However, the company says that the antibody's function against all mutant viruses exceeded the level required as a vaccine.
Moderna announced on the 24th of this month that it has manufactured a vaccine candidate for a mutant virus found in South Africa and shipped it to the National Institutes of Health in the United States for clinical trials.
The company plans to consider ways to improve its effectiveness by inoculating it for the third time using a conventional vaccine.
AstraZeneca "I'm sure it's effective in preventing aggravation"
For vaccines developed by British pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, groups such as the University of Oxford have published findings that have shown the same effect on mutant viruses found in the United Kingdom.
Early clinical trials have shown that the mutant virus found in South Africa is significantly less effective in preventing mild to moderate symptoms, while the company says it is "effective in preventing aggravation." I'm sure. "
The effects of both vaccines on mutant viruses are often not known from laboratory experiments or small-group clinical trials alone, indicating that WHO needs to analyze in more detail with more data.
What is the new coronavirus "mutation"?
Many viruses undergo tiny mutations in their genetic information over time.
Previous studies have shown that new coronaviruses cause small mutations at a pace of about once every two weeks, and in most cases these mutations do not affect the nature of the virus.
However, the mutant virus confirmed in the United Kingdom, the mutant virus spread in South Africa, and the mutant virus found in people who arrived in Japan from Brazil are all thought to have changed their virus properties due to mutation.
Some studies point out that mutations may increase risk
What all three have in common is that a mutation called "N501Y" has occurred in the genetic information of "spiked protein," which serves as a scaffold for the new coronavirus to infect human cells, and the amino acids have changed. is.
According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, among these mutant viruses confirmed in the United Kingdom, the susceptibility to infection may be up to 70% higher.
A report from the United Kingdom found no difference in hospitalization or mortality compared to normal viruses, but some studies suggest that it may be associated with an increased risk of death.
Another mutation has recently attracted attention.
In addition to the mutation of "N501Y", a mutation called "E484K" has been confirmed in the mutant virus confirmed in South Africa and the mutant virus spread in Brazil.
It is thought that the mutation of "E484K" makes it easier for the virus to escape the attack of the antibody, and it has been reported that the effect of the antibody was weakened even in experiments using cells.
More recently, a new mutant virus with a mutation of "E484K" has been confirmed without a mutation of "N501Y" in Japan, and it is thought that it came from overseas, but the detailed origin is unknown.
Regarding mutant viruses, there are concerns that the effectiveness of the vaccine currently in use will not be affected, and that once infected people may be infected again, but details are still available. I don't know.
The impact is currently under investigation and research.