‘lambda’ coronavirus variant -classified as variant of interest-by Dr Harold Gunatillake

‘lambda’ coronavirus variant -classified as variant of interest-by Dr Harold Gunatillake

Dr Harold Gunatillake

May be harder to control with the present vaccines.
“We’re going to see variants come up constantly. It’s not surprising and we’ll probably run out of letters of the Greek alphabet.” The best way to tackle the variants is to focus on getting more people vaccinated not just in one country but globally.
AstraZenica or Pfizer- which one is preferred?
Transcript: Whilst Delta plus variant started in India is spreading worldwide, a new strain labelled ‘lambda’ was first detected in Peru in August 2020 is a new variant of concern. This variant, also known as C.37, and WHO has labelled as a “variant of interest”.
There are now 11 official SARS-CoV-2 variants listed by the WHO.
All SARS-CoV-2 variants are distinguished from one another by mutations in their spike proteins — the components of the virus that allow it to invade human cells. Spike proteins, found on the surface of the virus, are what enable the virus to attach to and enter human cells, and all current vaccines are directed against them.
Spike protein is also the basis of current COVID-19 vaccines, which seek to generate an immune response against it.

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The findings indicate that mutations in the Beta variant change the shape of the spike surface at certain locations. For instance, the Delta variant first detected in India has two key spike protein mutations — T478K and L452R — that allow it to infect cells more easily and evade the body’s immune response, while lambda has seven unique protein mutations.

While it’s possible that Lambda, new variant is indeed more infectious than other variants, it’s too early to know for sure, said Kirsty Short, a virologist at the University of Queensland.
On 23 June, Public Health England classified it as a ‘variant under investigation, after six cases were detected in the UK to date, which were all linked to overseas travel.
This variant has spread to 29 countries, including Australia. This could be more infectious and harder to tackle with vaccination. It has been brought to Australia by an overseas traveler who was in an hotel quarantine in New South Wales, in April this year.
It was first detected in Peru in December 2020. Since, it has spread to 29 countries, seven of which are in South America.
In April and May this year, Lambda accounted for over 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Peru, with a high proportion of cases also in Chile, Argentina, and Ecuador. Does it escape vaccines?
Even though there’s limited information available about whether or not the Lamda variant escapes the vaccines, researchers in Chile have published the results of a study they carried out. According to the conclusions of the preprint paper, mutations present in the spike protein of the Lambda variant of interest confer increased
infectivity and immune escape from neutralizing antibodies triggered by CoronaVac, the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.
While scientists at Public Health England (PHE), expressed concerns that the latest strain of SARS-CoV-2 may spread quickly and may also be more resistant to vaccines, they emphasized there was no evidence corroborating the Lambda variant caused more severe disease or reduced the effectiveness of current vaccines.
How Does AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine Compare to Pfizer’s, AstraZeneca vaccine is cheap, easy to distribute and relies on different tech than its competitors. Even better AstraZeneca’s vaccine can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures, meaning it could be key to reaching people in rural and underfunded areas, one of the most pressing issues in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Safety and Efficacy Clinical trials for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have shown that these 2 vaccines are effective in preventing: development of COVID-19 symptoms and protecting against severe disease.
These trials involve tens of thousands of participants worldwide.
AstraZeneca vaccine is 76% effective against symptomatic coronavirus infections and 100% effective in preventing hospitalization and severe disease, according to an interim analysis of its United States phase 3 trial, which included more than 32,000 people.
It is also 85% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 in participants aged 65 and over.
The primary endpoint, vaccine efficacy at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 was 76% occurring 15 days or more after receiving two doses given four weeks apart. In addition, results were comparable across age groups, with vaccine efficacy of 85% (CI: 58% to 95%) in adults 65 years and older. A key secondary endpoint, preventing severe or critical disease and hospitalisation, demonstrated 100% efficacy.
Is Pfizer Vaccine more effective than AstraZeneca vaccine in case you catch the infection or to prevent getting the infection. Evidence suggests AstraZeneca and Pfizer are equally effective. A pre-print study from the UK recently found that real-world data suggest both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are equally effective, with no real difference in the level of protection offered.
The research involved 373,402 participants, revealed the odds of being infected after two doses of either vaccine were reduced by 70% compared to unvaccinated indiduals without prior infection, with no evidence that the benefits varied between the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines.
Risk of rare blood clotting In over 480,000 people receiving a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna),
CVT occurred in 4 in a million. CVT has been reported to occur in about 5 in a million people after first dose of the AZ-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.
With the two vaccines currently in circulation in Australia, Dr Kylie Quinn, Group Head and Research Fellow at RMIT’s School of Health and Biomedical Science, told newsGP the results are good news.
‘This is the kind of real-world data that we need to really understand how these vaccines perform,’ she said.
Associate Professor James Wood, a leading vaccine expert at the University of New South Wales, agrees, and says the findings provide reassurance Australia is on the right path.
Which COVID-19 vaccines are efficacious against the variants?
Researchers around the world are sifting through data to determine how the leading COVID-19 vaccines are doing against the variants of concern. Now, a big pre-print study from Ontario suggests that the vaccines used in Canada—Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca—are very effective against the four big variants of concern: Alpha
(B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), and Delta (B.1.617.2). “Our findings suggest that even a single dose of these three vaccine products provides good to excellent protection against symptomatic infection and severe outcomes caused by the four currently circulating variants of concern, and that two doses are likely to provide even higher protection,” the authors concluded. The study’s results  showed that being fully vaccinated gives a person roughly the same protection against Delta as Alpha, Beta and Gamma. The data shows that the vaccines are doing even better than previous studies suggested against the variants in terms of symptomatic infection as well as hospitalization and death.
“Vaccines are doing exactly what they should be doing,” says Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton and an associate professor at McMaster University. “Getting vaccinated is the most effective intervention against the spread of COVID-19 and all of the variants.” Hope this video talk was useful.Stay safe, get the jab, and Goodbye for now.


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