Ómicron kicked the board: its more than 30 variants compared to previous variants and its rapid spread across various continents, which caused the international scientific community to be alarmed. While the rest of the world, including Argentina, is seeking to speed up the vaccination campaign, it is taking steps to restrict flights to areas related to the events (seven countries in South Africa). After acknowledging that this is a “variant of anxiety” and creating “early threats of the possibility of re-infection”, this Monday WHO Despite speculation, that warned It is not yet determined whether this is highly contagious or produces more severe images of the disease. In the United States, the White House criteria Anthony Fossie I call “Get ready for the worst situation”.
“The spread time of the new variant is very short. The corona virus continues to exploit the existing immune system deficiency on the planet”, He warns Sandra Connie, Researcher at the Emerging Viruses Laboratory of the Institute of Basic and Applied Microbiology at Guilms National University. In his view, the contradiction is obvious. “We have vaccines, but they have not been fairly distributed.
“It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. . Honestly, I think by 2022 we will all be infected or vaccinated. But we would have been vaccinated”Says the molecular biologist and biotechnologist Ernesto Resnick. Epidemiology currently points out that by the beginning of 2020, if 60 or 70 percent of the population is maintained safe enough to be protected by two doses, these percentages should increase to avoid hospitalization. In Argentina, the Ministries of Health at the national and provincial levels acknowledge this.
Genetic monitoring is another important aspect to consider: in the next few weeks, work will be intensified to evaluate the characteristics of viruses that spread locally. Malbrán Institute (Ministry of Health) and Proyecto País (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation) are especially dedicated to this.
One variant is highly contagious when it “sticks” with human cells and the immune system responds quickly before the virus disrupts the machinery. However, since Omigran is highly contagious, it does not cause much death. “We have to learn to wait. We have complete molecular knowledge of the virus, but we still do not know how it will affect the population. It is likely to spread fast because it is a logical answer, The way in which the pathogen allows itself to spread among the population. But that does not mean it is worse or more dangerous, ”said Connie.
“In many cases, we found that asymptomatic patients had the same viral load as symptomatic patients. With this new strain, it is not immediately clear whether the disease can be very serious. There are many variables at risk, ”says Resnick.
The disease may be mild; Or the vaccines work and it is not properly warned. Both can happen in parallel. In fact, with so many immunocompromised patients, it is becoming increasingly difficult for control groups to determine whether health technologies are successful or not. To check this, it is necessary to appoint vaccinated, non-vaccinated and Omicron infected people.
Do vaccines lose their effectiveness?
“If it’s like Delta, it’s very contagious, but if the virus is neutralized enough by the vaccines, there will be no major problems. Millions will be affected, but if they do not end up in hospitals, it will not be so serious,” he said. Can create a scenario that is disease-causing but in a mild way so that the health system does not suffer and new outbreaks do not cause significant damage.However, many mutations in spike protein (more than 30 out of 600 amino acids) are highly likely to avoid the response of vaccines.This may be the news this week.
“First comes the warning reports from some labs that they’re dropping 70 percent of the vaccine’s effectiveness against Ómicron. I hope this virus has the ability to escape the immunity of vaccines, but as long as it is not over 30 percent, with the best technologies developed, it will be enough news.”Says the biotechnologist. According to Resnick, the immune system will continue to be successful in preventing serious illness and death. In addition to neutralizing antibodies, D lymphocytes function in the body, creating a memory pool and coordinating the defense system’s response to a general level. It remains to be seen how successful T cells will be in removing the virus from organisms.
The good news is that existing vaccines can be renewed quickly, according to firm pharmaceutical companies and experts in the field: estimates that they will be ready in about 60 days. Again, there will be disruption in serial production and, above all, global distribution. Pfizer and BioNTech have already announced that they are conducting research to see if the effectiveness of their vaccine formulations against Ómicron is reduced. This Monday, the Kamaleya Center responsible for the design of Sputnik V announced the same. From the Russian company, they confirmed that if they need to fix their vaccine site, they can do it in 45 days and can deliver hundreds of millions of doses from February 2022.