There are currently around 4,000 variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 worldwide. As a result, all vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca Plc, are trying to improve their vaccines, a UK minister said.
Thousands of variants of the type of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 have been documented as mutated viruses, including the so-called British, South African and Brazilian variants, which appear to be spreading faster than others.
“It is very unlikely that the current vaccine will not be effective with the Kent variants or any other variant, particularly for serious illness and hospitalization,” Vaccine Use Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News.
“All manufacturers, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and others, are looking at ways to improve their vaccine to make sure we’re ready for each variant. There are currently around 4,000 variants of COVID worldwide.”
While thousands of variants were created when the virus mutated while replicating, only a very small minority should be important and change the virus in any significant way, according to the British Medical Journal.
“We have the largest genome sequencing industry – we have roughly 50% of the world‘s genome sequencing industry – and we keep a library of all variants so that we can respond to any challenge – fall or beyond – the virus could come up with and produce the next vaccine,” said Zahawi.
The novel coronavirus – known by scientists as SARS-CoV-2 – has killed 2.268 million people worldwide since it emerged in China in late 2019, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)