Vaccines should be tweaked to tackle COVID-19 variants: DAK

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Feb 10: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that the COVID-19 vaccines should be tweaked to tackle new mutated versions of the novel coronavirus.
DAK President, Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement issued here said that we need to modify the existing Covid-19 vaccines to deal with new variants.
“Currently, three Covid-19 variants – South African variant, Brazilian variant and UK variant are circulating in the human populations which appear to spread more swiftly than the original strain,” he said.
He said that some of these variants have been found to evade the effectiveness of the existing vaccines that have been developed against the original strain of the novel virus.
“A study from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg has shown that Oxford vaccine had significantly reduced efficacy against the South African variant,” DAK President said.
He said that an inability to protect against variant strains may severely limit the strategic benefit of vaccines containing only the original strain.
“To have long term efficacy against Covid-19, it may be necessary for vaccines to include multiple variants of the novel virus,” he said adding “this strategy is routinely applied against influenza and all formulations in recent years have included three to four variant forms,” he said.
Dr Nisar said that only those vaccines which can protect against multiple variants of the virus can bring the Covid-19 pandemic to an end. “Vaccine manufacturers need to update their existing shots to address the ongoing genetic evolution of Covid-19,” he said.