COVID research updates

Moderna vaccine vanquishes viral variants

The Massachusetts-based biotech company Moderna has tested their vaccine against two new, rapidly spreading strains of COVID-19.

According to Nature, The vaccine seems to work against new, rapidly spreading variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Darin Edwards at biotechnology company Moderna in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his colleagues collected blood samples from 8 people and 24 macaques that had received 2 doses of the company’s vaccine (K. Wu et al. Preprint at bioRxiv ; 2021). The vaccine instructs the body to make the coronavirus’s spike protein, priming the immune system to produce ‘neutralizing’ antibodies that can prevent cells from being infected. All of the blood samples from vaccinated people and monkeys contained neutralizing antibodies against the virus.

it appears that the vaccine works as effectively against the UK variant as it does against the original form. While the vaccine appears less effective at neutralizing the South African 501Y.V2 variant, it still provides protection.

Moderna is now planning to test a booster jab that will enhance immunity against emerging forms of the coronavirus.

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine shows high effectiveness

A vaccine that relies on modified cold viruses is more than 91% effective against symptomatic COVID-19, according to interim results of a clinical trial involving nearly 22,000 people.

Vaccines are curbing COVID: Data from Israel show drop in infections

Scientists have released the data behind a British government warning last week that the fast-spreading SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 increases the risk of dying from COVID-19 compared with previous variants. But some scientists caution that the latest study — like the government warning — is preliminary and still does not indicate whether the variant is more deadly or is just spreading faster and so reaching greater numbers of vulnerable people.

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