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Covid-19 will take years, not months, to render vaccine ineffective: Experts

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on December 21, 2020

Report further stated that so far coronavirus variant in Britain has around 20 mutations

After Britain witnessed an unprecedented surge in the coronavirus cases about the new strain of the virus, health experts urged caution and said that Covid-19 will take years, not months, to evolve enough to render the current vaccine against the virus ineffective, New York Times (NYT) reported.

Easing the worry, the scientists stated that a single catastrophic incident is not going to render all immunities impotent.

According to NYT, researchers have recorded thousands of modifications in the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 as it has “hopscotched across the world.”

Some variants become more common in a population simply by luck, not because the changes somehow supercharge the virus. But as it becomes more difficult for the pathogen to survive – because of vaccinations and growing immunity in human populations, scientists said as quoted in the NYT report.

Also read: Covid-19 cases ‘absolutely rocketed’; new strain spread ‘out of control’: UK Health Secretary

NYT report further stated that so far coronavirus variant in Britain has around 20 mutations.

According to the report that has quoted scientists in South Africa, human behaviour has played a crucial role in driving the pandemic even though its impact is yet to be quantified.

“No one should worry that there is going to be a single catastrophic mutation that suddenly renders all immunity and antibodies useless. It is going to be a process that occurs over the time scale of multiple years and requires the accumulation of multiple viral mutations. It’s not going to be like an on-off switch,” Dr Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle told to NYT.

Also read: Canada bans flights from UK as virus spreads

This comes as United Kingdom Health Secretary Matt Hancock cautioned Britons about the new strain of the virus that is “out of control,” as per media reports. The Health Secretary also stated that parts of England under high alert will witness the highest level of restrictions until the vaccination drive.

Published on December 21, 2020

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