Mutations could render current Covid vaccines ineffective in a year

Mutations could render current Covid vaccines ineffective in a year

CREDIT: Twitter

Mutations could render current Covid vaccines ineffective in a year.

EPIDEMIOLOGISTS, from some of the world’s leading academic institutions, have delivered a stark warning of the risk the world is taking by failing to ensure all countries have sufficient vaccines to protect people from Covid-19.

In a survey of 77 epidemiologists from 28 countries, carried out by The People’s Vaccine Alliance, two-thirds thought that in a year or less the virus could mutate to the extent that the majority of first-generation vaccines are rendered ineffective and new or modified vaccines are required.

Of those surveyed, almost a third gave a timeframe of nine months or less.

Fewer than one in eight said they believed that mutations would never render the current vaccines ineffective.

The overwhelming majority – 88 per cent – said that persistent low vaccine coverage in many countries would make it more likely for vaccine-resistant mutations to appear.

The People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of over 50 organisations including African Alliance, Oxfam and UNAIDS, warned that at the current rate it was likely that only 10 per cent of people in the majority of poor countries will be vaccinated in the next year.

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed —who included specialists from Johns Hopkins, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Cambridge University, and the University of Edinburgh – said that open sharing of technology and intellectual property could increase global vaccine coverage.

The People’s Vaccine Alliance is calling for the lifting of pharmaceutical monopolies and the sharing of technology to urgently boost vaccine supply.

Devi Sridhar, Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The more the virus circulates, the more likely it is that mutations and variants will emerge, which could make our current vaccines ineffective. At the same time, poor countries are being left behind without vaccines and basic medical supplies like oxygen.

“As we’ve learned, viruses don’t care about borders. We have to vaccinate as many people as possible, everywhere in the world, as quickly as possible. Why wait and watch instead of getting ahead of this?”


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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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