Vaccination speed must outperform virus mutation

  She Huimin

  Recently, the outbreak in Guangzhou has focused the public's attention on the mutated strain of the new coronavirus.

Is the new crown virus getting worse?

The virus has mutated, is the vaccine still effective?

  From the actual situation, the current local epidemic in Guangzhou is caused by the Delta mutant strain named by the World Health Organization, which was first discovered in India.

Existing research data shows that among several new coronavirus variants worthy of attention, the Delta strain has the strongest transmission ability. It has doubled the transmission ability of the old strains in the past and is also higher than the Alpha mutant strain first discovered in the UK. The communication capacity of the company has increased by more than 40%.

  According to relevant clinical observations, people infected with the Delta strain have a high viral load and a strong ability to spread the virus; the patient’s condition progresses very quickly, some patients become severe after 3 to 4 days of onset, and the proportion of severe and critical patients is relatively high. , About 10% to 12%.

  The characteristics of strong transmission ability, rapid disease progression, and high proportion of severe cases show that the mutant strains have indeed become more powerful, and more attention and prevention efforts are needed.

  Judging from the monitoring data: the current new crown vaccine is still effective against mutant strains!

  Judging from the epidemic situation in Guangzhou, among the confirmed cases, the proportion of people who have not been vaccinated becomes severely ill or develops severe disease is significantly higher than that of people who have been vaccinated.

  A series of surveillance data released recently internationally also confirmed the similar characteristics of different vaccines.

  First, the vaccine is effective for personal protection.

For example, the recent local epidemic in Singapore is mainly caused by more transmissible mutant strains.

According to data published on the official website of the Ministry of Health of Singapore, of the 747 local cases that occurred in Singapore from April 28 to June 16, 146 people have been vaccinated, 78 people have been partially vaccinated, and 523 people have not been vaccinated.

Among the 146 patients who completed the vaccination, 98.6% were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, 1.4% were aerobic, and there were no severe ICU cases and no deaths.

Among the 523 unvaccinated patients, 0.8% died, 1.1% were severely ill in the ICU, and 7.3% were aerobic.

These data show that although the vaccine cannot completely prevent the infection of the mutant strain, it has a significant effect in preventing severe illness and death.

  Second, the vaccine is effective for group protection.

The journal Nature Medicine recently published the results of an Israeli study.

After monitoring 177 communities, local researchers found that for every 20% increase in the number of vaccinated people in a community, the number of people who have not been vaccinated in the same community will roughly triple the number of people who have not been vaccinated.

  It is worth noting that whether it is the bad news that the mutated strain has become more transmissible, or the good news that the current vaccine is effective on the mutated strain, it reminds us that we must speed up vaccination and race against virus mutation.

  The new coronavirus is an RNA virus with a high mutation rate. The basis of the mutation is that the virus will continue to replicate.

Reducing mutations requires blocking the spread of the virus. If the virus cannot replicate when it does not spread, there will be no more mutants.

If the spread of the epidemic cannot be controlled, the risk of the virus mutating to evade the effects of the vaccine will increase.

  Relevant departments in my country have been closely monitoring the severity of the mutation of the new coronavirus, and relevant companies have also made full preparations. Once the existing vaccines cannot cope with the mutated strains, they will promptly develop and produce new vaccines.

  Stopping the spread of the virus mainly depends on public health measures and vaccination.

China has achieved excellent results in adopting public health measures to stop the spread of the virus.

At present, China's vaccination rate is also the fastest in the world, with more than 10 million doses in a single day for more than a month, of which more than 20 million doses per day in 9 days, and the total number of doses has exceeded 990 million.

  Existing vaccines are still effective against a variety of new coronavirus variants, providing a crucial "window period" for humans.

To speed up vaccination and race against the mutation of the virus, all countries need to work together.

  She Huimin