Amidst concerns about the UK’s location Corona Virus The mutation may have arisen, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said continued travel will likely increase the chances of importing the virus to U.S. shores, as others question how the new strain will affect the recently approved ones. Vaccines.
“The constant travel between the United Kingdom and the United States, in addition to the high prevalence of this alternative among the current infections in the United Kingdom, increases the likelihood of import,” according to the Centers for Disease Control. Scientific summary. “Given the small fraction of the US infections that have been sequenced, the variant could already be present in the United States without being detected.”
The CDC said the variable was not identified by sequencing in the United States, adding, “although viruses have only been sequenced from about 51,000 cases out of 17 million in the United States.”
This fact echoes with recent comments from prominent virologist, Jeremy Le Pen, of the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, when he told the Washington Post: [the mutated strain] It might be fine here. Maybe it started here. The sequence in the United States is very choppy. “
The Federal Health Agency said the variable accounted for 60% of recent infections in London, although the breed’s dominance does not mean it is more contagious.
And the CDC continued, “Scientists are working to learn more about this alternative to better understand how easily it can be transmitted and whether the currently authorized vaccines will protect people against it.” “At this time, there is no evidence that this variant causes more serious disease or increases the risk of death.”
While scientists study an alternative, the recently authorized Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine continues to roll out in the UK, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday that more than 500,000 doses have been given.
A Pfizer spokesperson told Fox News that the company, along with BioNTech, have chosen the mRNA platform for the now licensed vaccine because of the flexibility the technology provides.
“This flexibility includes the ability to change the RNA sequence in the vaccine to cover new strains of the virus, if one of them appears and is not well covered by the current vaccine,” a statement reads via email. Pfizer and BioNTech have tested vaccines from people who have been vaccinated with BNT162b2. [COVID-19] Vaccine for its ability to neutralize multiple mutant strains. “
“So far, we have found consistent coverage of all strains tested. The two companies are now working to generate data on how well vaccines from people immunized with BNT162b2 would neutralize the new strain from the UK.”
Moderna did not immediately respond to a request for comment, although Moderna’s vaccine has yet to obtain emergency clearance in the UK.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, gets a new mutation in its genome every two weeks, according to the CDC, which added that many of the mutations are “silent” (there is no structural change in the proteins encoded). Other mutations can change components of proteins, called amino acids, but this does not affect the protein’s function.
The UK mutated strain includes 14 mutations, among other changes.
Although another species is talked about in South Africa, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the mutated strain “appeared completely independent of the UK strain and had nothing to do with it”.