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Covid-19 can be easily tweaked to adjust to new strains, explains NICD prof

22 January 2021 6:12 PM
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COVID-19 vaccine

John Maytham speaks to Professor Lynn Morris, principal medical scientist and head of HIV Virology at the NICD.

New research has shown that vaccines may not be as effective against the mutated strain of Covid-19 found in South Africa.

Penny Moore, a researcher at South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases and co-author of the study says data suggests the variant could partially evade the defences vaccines build in our bodies' immune systems.

That may mean existing vaccines won't provide as much protection to people, and that those who have had the original virus could be reinfected with the new strain.

However, both Pfizer and Moderna say they can tweak their vaccines to combat the variants within about six weeks.

John Maytham speaks to Professor Lynn Morris, principal medical scientist and head of HIV Virology at the NICD about these concerns and the process involved.

It is not unexpected from a virological point of view that the virus has got around the antibodies.

Professor Lynn Morris, Principal Medical Scientist and HIV Virology Head - NICD

But like with flu vaccines every year, the current Covid-19 vaccines can be easily and quickly tweaked and adjusted for the mutations, she explains.

Take a listen below:




22 January 2021 6:12 PM
Tags:
nicd
COVID-19 vaccine

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