Vaccine and the New Covid-19 strains

Vaccination drive has been going on in the country with full force but with the emergence of the new coronavirus strains in certain states have left people thinking over the efficacy of these vaccines. Dr. M.C. Misra, former AIIMS director, New Delhi, talks about the vaccines and the new strains

The information till now about the efficacy and the immunogenicity of the Covishield suggests that about 60% to 70% immunity is developed after the dose only. This why according to the WHO’s directions a gap of 8 to 12 weeks between the two doses of the vaccines is feasible, earlier the gap was supposed to be 28 days. The effect of the first dose is to stay for 3 months is a known fact but the duration of the effect of the booster is yet not known.

According to Dr. Misra, people who have been administered with the first dose of the vaccine are to an extend safe for the next three months. This has been said on the basis of the immunity, efficacy and immunogenicity.

Now the question arises on the stopping of Covishield usage in South Africa, Europe and a few other countries, basically the ones that have come in contact with the new coronavirus strain. This is due to the reason, according to a study done by South Africa, that this vaccine is not effective against the new strain. Some people believe that people who had already come in contact with the covid-19 virus and have recovered from it, for them one dose of the vaccine will be enough for their body must have already developed immunity against the virus from the infection.

Dr. Misra is hopeful that as the vaccination all over the world gains momentum, then within six to eight months all the remaining queries about the vaccines will be cleared. As all these answers depend solely on serological surveys, yet the certain scientists like the ones related to the Covishield are confident that the vaccine may work against the new strain as well. On the other hand, AstraZeneca has claimed that it will work against the mutant virus because it is made against the spike protein of the virus. The effect of the mutant virus shouldn’t affect one adversely after the vaccination for the person whose vaccination has already been done.

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