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What are the Covid variants and will vaccines still work?

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What are the Covid variants and will vaccines still work?

By Michelle Roberts
Health editor,
BBC News online



coronavirus



A new heavily mutated version of coronavirus has been found that scientists say is of "great concern".

One of most pressing questions is will vaccines still work?

What is this new variant?

There are thousands of different types, or variants, of Covid circulating across the world. That's to be expected because viruses mutate all the time.

But this new variant, called B.1.1.529 or Omicron, has experts particularly worried because it is very different to the original Covid, which current vaccines were designed to fight.

It has a long list of genetic changes - 50 in all. Of these, 32 are in the spike protein of the virus - the part which is the target of vaccines.

However, it is too soon to know how much of a threat it poses.



Why spike changes are important



Will vaccines still work?

Current vaccines are not an ideal match so might not work quite as well, say experts.
But that doesn't mean they'll offer zero protection.

Remember, vaccines are still very effective at protecting lives by cutting the risk of severe illness against other major Covid variants, including Delta, Alpha, Beta and Gamma.

Doctors say it is vital people get the recommended number of doses to gain maximum protection against existing and emerging variants.

In the UK, booster jabs are being offered to:
  • Over-40s
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Older adults in residential care homes
  • People aged 16-49 years old with underlying health conditions which put them at greater risk of severe Covid
  • Adults who share a household with vulnerable people

Although Covid infections have been rising again across the UK, the number of hospitalisations and deaths has remained well below the levels seen in earlier waves. Experts say this is because of the success of the vaccine programme.

Scientists will be running lots of tests to check if the vaccines will hold up against this latest variant.
It is early days, but experts will study potentially important mutations that might make it more infectious and able to sidestep some of the protection given by vaccines.
And they will assess if it is causing more serious disease than other variants.


How quickly could we get new vaccines against variants?


Updated versions of vaccines against Covid variants are already being designed and tested, in case they are needed at some point.

Should that time arrive, a new vaccine could be ready within weeks, to run checks on.

Manufacturers could scale up production quickly too and regulators have already discussed how to fast track the approval process.

No corners would be cut, but the whole process - from design to approval - could be much faster than when Covid vaccines were first launched.


What about the other variants?

Officials have a close watch on a few.

The most potentially dangerous ones are called variants of concern and include:

  • Delta (B.1.617.2), first identified in India and now the most common type circulating in the UK
  • Alpha (B.1.1.7), first identified in the UK but which spread to more than 50 countries
  • Beta (B.1.351), first identified in South Africa but which has been detected in at least 20 other countries, including the UK
  • Gamma (P.1), first identified in Brazil but which has spread to more than 10 other countries, including the UK
UK officials are also keeping an eye on a recent descendent of the Delta variant, called AY.4.2 or "Delta plus".

Chart showing key coronavirus variants



How dangerous are variants?

There is no evidence that any of them cause more serious illness for the vast majority of people.

As with original Covid, the risk remains highest for people who are elderly or have significant underlying health conditions.

But even so, if a variant is more infectious it will lead to more deaths in an unvaccinated population.

Vaccines offer high protection against severe illness with Covid-19, including infections caused by variants of concern. The shots also reduce the risk of infection. But they do not completely eliminate all risk.

The advice to avoid infection remains the same for all strains: wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a face covering in crowded places and be vigilant about ventilation.


Chart showing what the variants are and how they happen


Presentational white space

Why are variants occurring?

Viruses make carbon copies of themselves to reproduce but they aren't perfect at it. Errors can creep in that change the genetic blueprint, resulting in a new version or variant.

If this gives the virus a survival advantage, the new version will thrive.

The more chances coronavirus has to make copies of itself in us - the host - the more opportunities there are for mutations to occur.

That's why keeping infections down is important. Vaccines help by cutting transmission as well as protecting against serious Covid illness.
Experts say it is possible that the new highly altered variant B.1.1.529 may have originated in a patient whose immune system was unable to get rid of a Covid infection quickly, giving the virus more time to morph.
 

SuvarnaTeja

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What are the Covid variants and will vaccines still work?

By Michelle Roberts
Health editor,
BBC News online



coronavirus



A new heavily mutated version of coronavirus has been found that scientists say is of "great concern".

One of most pressing questions is will vaccines still work?

What is this new variant?

There are thousands of different types, or variants, of Covid circulating across the world. That's to be expected because viruses mutate all the time.

But this new variant, called B.1.1.529 or Omicron, has experts particularly worried because it is very different to the original Covid, which current vaccines were designed to fight.

It has a long list of genetic changes - 50 in all. Of these, 32 are in the spike protein of the virus - the part which is the target of vaccines.

However, it is too soon to know how much of a threat it poses.



Why spike changes are important



Will vaccines still work?

Current vaccines are not an ideal match so might not work quite as well, say experts.
But that doesn't mean they'll offer zero protection.

Remember, vaccines are still very effective at protecting lives by cutting the risk of severe illness against other major Covid variants, including Delta, Alpha, Beta and Gamma.

Doctors say it is vital people get the recommended number of doses to gain maximum protection against existing and emerging variants.

In the UK, booster jabs are being offered to:
  • Over-40s
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Older adults in residential care homes
  • People aged 16-49 years old with underlying health conditions which put them at greater risk of severe Covid
  • Adults who share a household with vulnerable people

Although Covid infections have been rising again across the UK, the number of hospitalisations and deaths has remained well below the levels seen in earlier waves. Experts say this is because of the success of the vaccine programme.

Scientists will be running lots of tests to check if the vaccines will hold up against this latest variant.
It is early days, but experts will study potentially important mutations that might make it more infectious and able to sidestep some of the protection given by vaccines.
And they will assess if it is causing more serious disease than other variants.


How quickly could we get new vaccines against variants?


Updated versions of vaccines against Covid variants are already being designed and tested, in case they are needed at some point.

Should that time arrive, a new vaccine could be ready within weeks, to run checks on.

Manufacturers could scale up production quickly too and regulators have already discussed how to fast track the approval process.

No corners would be cut, but the whole process - from design to approval - could be much faster than when Covid vaccines were first launched.


What about the other variants?

Officials have a close watch on a few.

The most potentially dangerous ones are called variants of concern and include:

  • Delta (B.1.617.2), first identified in India and now the most common type circulating in the UK
  • Alpha (B.1.1.7), first identified in the UK but which spread to more than 50 countries
  • Beta (B.1.351), first identified in South Africa but which has been detected in at least 20 other countries, including the UK
  • Gamma (P.1), first identified in Brazil but which has spread to more than 10 other countries, including the UK
UK officials are also keeping an eye on a recent descendent of the Delta variant, called AY.4.2 or "Delta plus".

Chart showing key coronavirus variants



How dangerous are variants?

There is no evidence that any of them cause more serious illness for the vast majority of people.

As with original Covid, the risk remains highest for people who are elderly or have significant underlying health conditions.

But even so, if a variant is more infectious it will lead to more deaths in an unvaccinated population.

Vaccines offer high protection against severe illness with Covid-19, including infections caused by variants of concern. The shots also reduce the risk of infection. But they do not completely eliminate all risk.

The advice to avoid infection remains the same for all strains: wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a face covering in crowded places and be vigilant about ventilation.


Chart showing what the variants are and how they happen


Presentational white space

Why are variants occurring?

Viruses make carbon copies of themselves to reproduce but they aren't perfect at it. Errors can creep in that change the genetic blueprint, resulting in a new version or variant.

If this gives the virus a survival advantage, the new version will thrive.

The more chances coronavirus has to make copies of itself in us - the host - the more opportunities there are for mutations to occur.

That's why keeping infections down is important. Vaccines help by cutting transmission as well as protecting against serious Covid illness.
Experts say it is possible that the new highly altered variant B.1.1.529 may have originated in a patient whose immune system was unable to get rid of a Covid infection quickly, giving the virus more time to morph.


COVID vaccines never worked on the original ones. Why will they work on the new variants?
These variants are being released to panic and force people to keep taking period booster shots. Pharmas are laughing their way to banks.
 

Hack-Hook

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COVID vaccines never worked on the original ones. Why will they work on the new variants?
These variants are being released to panic and force people to keep taking period booster shots. Pharmas are laughing their way to banks.
well can you explain from where you get that data
 

Jazzbot

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Unfortunately, it's just an infinite loop for us common people:

Variant -> Vaccine -> Variant -> Vaccine

New variants will keep on rolling along with booster shots for these variants. Sad but true.
 

sammuel

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Covid Vaccine never worked data



I don't know if there is a point in debating someone like that. It puts him on equal grounds with you , and you are not.

As if there are just different opinions , both are legitimate , but they are not.

Because one opinion is based on reality , on facts based on millions of people from different countries , in all off them the vaccine worked just fine and halted the spread of the virus .

The other " opinion " is based on stupid conspiracy theories and stuff people pull out from their vivid imagination.


~
 

STREANH

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I take a flu shot every year, no biggie. Now I guess I'll have to take one more. Whoever says vaccines don't work are either ignorant are have their own agenda.
 

fitpOsitive

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What are the Covid variants and will vaccines still work?

By Michelle Roberts
Health editor,
BBC News online



coronavirus



A new heavily mutated version of coronavirus has been found that scientists say is of "great concern".

One of most pressing questions is will vaccines still work?

What is this new variant?

There are thousands of different types, or variants, of Covid circulating across the world. That's to be expected because viruses mutate all the time.

But this new variant, called B.1.1.529 or Omicron, has experts particularly worried because it is very different to the original Covid, which current vaccines were designed to fight.

It has a long list of genetic changes - 50 in all. Of these, 32 are in the spike protein of the virus - the part which is the target of vaccines.

However, it is too soon to know how much of a threat it poses.



Why spike changes are important



Will vaccines still work?

Current vaccines are not an ideal match so might not work quite as well, say experts.
But that doesn't mean they'll offer zero protection.

Remember, vaccines are still very effective at protecting lives by cutting the risk of severe illness against other major Covid variants, including Delta, Alpha, Beta and Gamma.

Doctors say it is vital people get the recommended number of doses to gain maximum protection against existing and emerging variants.

In the UK, booster jabs are being offered to:
  • Over-40s
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Older adults in residential care homes
  • People aged 16-49 years old with underlying health conditions which put them at greater risk of severe Covid
  • Adults who share a household with vulnerable people

Although Covid infections have been rising again across the UK, the number of hospitalisations and deaths has remained well below the levels seen in earlier waves. Experts say this is because of the success of the vaccine programme.

Scientists will be running lots of tests to check if the vaccines will hold up against this latest variant.
It is early days, but experts will study potentially important mutations that might make it more infectious and able to sidestep some of the protection given by vaccines.
And they will assess if it is causing more serious disease than other variants.


How quickly could we get new vaccines against variants?


Updated versions of vaccines against Covid variants are already being designed and tested, in case they are needed at some point.

Should that time arrive, a new vaccine could be ready within weeks, to run checks on.

Manufacturers could scale up production quickly too and regulators have already discussed how to fast track the approval process.

No corners would be cut, but the whole process - from design to approval - could be much faster than when Covid vaccines were first launched.


What about the other variants?

Officials have a close watch on a few.

The most potentially dangerous ones are called variants of concern and include:

  • Delta (B.1.617.2), first identified in India and now the most common type circulating in the UK
  • Alpha (B.1.1.7), first identified in the UK but which spread to more than 50 countries
  • Beta (B.1.351), first identified in South Africa but which has been detected in at least 20 other countries, including the UK
  • Gamma (P.1), first identified in Brazil but which has spread to more than 10 other countries, including the UK
UK officials are also keeping an eye on a recent descendent of the Delta variant, called AY.4.2 or "Delta plus".

Chart showing key coronavirus variants



How dangerous are variants?

There is no evidence that any of them cause more serious illness for the vast majority of people.

As with original Covid, the risk remains highest for people who are elderly or have significant underlying health conditions.

But even so, if a variant is more infectious it will lead to more deaths in an unvaccinated population.

Vaccines offer high protection against severe illness with Covid-19, including infections caused by variants of concern. The shots also reduce the risk of infection. But they do not completely eliminate all risk.

The advice to avoid infection remains the same for all strains: wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a face covering in crowded places and be vigilant about ventilation.


Chart showing what the variants are and how they happen


Presentational white space

Why are variants occurring?

Viruses make carbon copies of themselves to reproduce but they aren't perfect at it. Errors can creep in that change the genetic blueprint, resulting in a new version or variant.

If this gives the virus a survival advantage, the new version will thrive.

The more chances coronavirus has to make copies of itself in us - the host - the more opportunities there are for mutations to occur.

That's why keeping infections down is important. Vaccines help by cutting transmission as well as protecting against serious Covid illness.
Experts say it is possible that the new highly altered variant B.1.1.529 may have originated in a patient whose immune system was unable to get rid of a Covid infection quickly, giving the virus more time to morph.
Our ancestors defeated this virus long ago. Until recently this virus was a soil shopping third class villian of virus world. But suddenly some humans group, a very powerful one, decided to destroy economies of many countries with out the fear of a nuclear war.
Now, initially I thought they were after China. Then I thought may be they are after oil producing countries. Then I observed even Europe is getting destroyed slowly. And now I am of the opinion that they are after everyone.
After delta variant I thought Indians are responsible for that. But then came gamma theta and what not. And funny part is that they are changing countries so that they can give impression of independence between mutations as well as to teach a lesson to the countries who are not fearful.


The main target of this group(may they all burn in hell) to make every country consume all its reserves. At the end of this pandemie every country will be on road with a Bowl in hands. I know taking action against such mighty group is almost impossible, but there might be a group of people who might know these monsters and may be they are ready to take action as well.

We humans are now looking towards some intelligence service of some country, specially German, Russian, American or Chinese to find these snakes and kill them where ever they are.
 

ghazi52

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SCHIPOL; Netherlands: Fears mounted Saturday that a highly-infectious new coronavirus strain was pushing its way into Europe as the world brought the shutters down to contain the new Omicron variant.


Britain confirmed its first two infections and suspected new cases emerged in Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic, while Dutch authorities quarantined 61 passengers from South Africa who tested positive for Covid-19.

South Africa complained it was being "punished" with air travel bans for first detecting the strain, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has termed a "variant of concern".

South Korea, Australia and Thailand joined the United States, Brazil, Canada and a host of other countries around the world restricting travel from the region, fearing a major setback to global efforts against the pandemic.

Scientists are racing to determine the threat posed by the heavily mutated strain, which is more transmissible than the dominant Delta variant, and whether it can evade existing vaccines.

Anxious travellers thronged Johannesburg international airport, desperate to squeeze onto the last flights to countries that had imposed sudden travel bans. Many had cut holidays and rushed back from South African safaris and vineyards. "It´s ridiculous, we will always be having new variants," British tourist David Good told AFP, passports in hand. "South Africa found it but it´s probably all over the world already."

The virus has already slipped through the net with cases in Europe and Hong Kong and Israel. Both cases in Britain were linked to travel from southern Africa, and in response the government expanded travel restrictions on the region.

Belgium said Friday it had detected the first announced infection in an unvaccinated person returning from abroad.Germany´s suspect case, meanwhile, was fully jabbed.

"The Omicron variant has with strong likelihood already arrived in Germany," tweeted Kai Klose, social affairs minister in the western state of Hesse. The neighbouring Czech Republic was carrying out further tests on a woman who had travelled from Namibia and was suspected to have the new variant, prime minister Andrej Babis said.

The Netherlands meanwhile found around one in 10 -- 61 out of 600 -- people who had arrived at Schiphol airport on Friday from South Africa were positive for Covid-19.

Those infected, who flew in on two KLM flights that took off before the Dutch government announced a ban on travellers from the region, were being kept quarantined in a hotel.

"The positive test results will be examined as soon as possible to determine whether this concerns the new worrisome variant," the Dutch Health Authority said.

The WHO said it could take several weeks to understand the variant, which was initially known as B.1.1.529, and cautioned against travel curbs while scientific evidence remains scant.

South Africa called the travel curbs "draconian" and on Saturday said the flight bans were "akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants quicker.""Excellent science should be applauded and not punished," the foreign ministry said in a statement. The main countries targeted by the shutdown include South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

US President Joe Biden meanwhile said richer countries should donate more Covid-19 vaccines and give up intellectual property protections to manufacture more doses worldwide.

"The news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations," he said.

But with memories still fresh of the way global air travel helped the spread of Covid after it first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, countries clamped down swiftly.

Australia and Belgium became the latest to act, banning all flights from nine southern African countries. South Korea and Thailand restricted flights from eight countries, as did the United States, Brazil, Canada and Saudi Arabia. Earlier EU officials agreed in an emergency meeting to urge all 27 nations in the bloc to restrict travel from southern Africa, with many members having already done so.

The World Trade Organization called off its ministerial conference, its biggest gathering in four years, at the last minute Friday due to the new variant.

Vaccine manufacturers have held out hope that they can modify current vaccines to target the Omicron variant. Germany´s BioNTech and US drugmaker Pfizer said they expect data "in two weeks at the latest" to show if their jab can be adjusted. Moderna said it will develop a booster specific to the new variant.
 

SuvarnaTeja

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Covid Vaccine never worked data

Israeli study shows natural immunity delivers 13 times more protection than COVID vaccines


UK study finds vaccinated people easily transmit Delta variant in households

I don't know if there is a point in debating someone like that. It puts him on equal grounds with you , and you are not.

As if there are just different opinions , both are legitimate , but they are not.

Because one opinion is based on reality , on facts based on millions of people from different countries , in all off them the vaccine worked just fine and halted the spread of the virus .

The other " opinion " is based on stupid conspiracy theories and stuff people pull out from their vivid imagination.


~

The study was from the country flags that you carry.
 

sammuel

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Israeli study shows natural immunity delivers 13 times more protection than COVID vaccines


UK study finds vaccinated people easily transmit Delta variant in households



The study was from the country flags that you carry.


Don't try to mislead people.

The article does not say the vaccine don't work .

Only that those who got sick develop immunity. Some however do not develop immunity and die genius, not to mention those who recover and remain with side effects. So it is very advisable not to get sick at all by taking the vaccine.

And in any case those who where ill and got the vaccine had higher immunity than those who only got sick - according to this article , so it is more than recommended for them to take the vaccine as well.


~
 

Meengla

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According to Dr. Joseph Campbell whose videos are balanced--giving credence to the Natural Immunity and also to the power of the vaccines-- as of now he thinks those fully vaccinated should be okay with the Omicron variant. Time will tell.

A scientific mind is able to absorb new knowledge and change opinion as there is new data available. Dr. Campbell is world-apart from those who are the know-it-all singing 'vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate, boosters, boosters, boosters, masks, masks, masks, lockdown, lockdown, lockdown, mandate, mandate, mandate'.

 

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