Medical &Health

S.Africa virus strain ‘offers immunity against other variants’

A new study has shown that people
previously infected by the Covid-19 variant identified in South Africa have
better immunity against other coronavirus mutations, experts said Wednesday.

The findings, from preliminary research by the team of South African
scientists who identified the variant dubbed 501Y.V2, raise hopes that
vaccines modelled on the strain could protect against future mutations.

Identified late last year, the variant fuelled South Africa’s second wave
of infection and delayed the start of vaccinations in February.

Scientists said Wednesday that plasma collected from people infected with
the variant had “good neutralising activity”, including against “first wave”
viruses and potentially other variants of concern.

After the antibodies were tested against the original strain and another
identified in Brazil, “results are showing a clear sense of direction”,
virologist Tulio de Oliveira said in a video conference.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told the same meeting that the discovery was
“good news for all” as it presented a huge boost to the control of the

Coronavirus mutations — some more contagious — had put a damper on
global vaccination programmes after existing shots were found to offer less
protection against them.

Manufacturers have in recent weeks raced to tweak their formulas in
response to the spread of newer variants.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)