The virologist stated in an interview with PAP that mutations are actually random errors in copying the genetic material of the virus (replication) – most of which do not benefit the virus.
Only a few variants of the coronavirus count
He pointed out that about five thousand are already known. The mutations are different, but there are a few variants that are more contagious and that did not protect the vaccine. The remaining mutations play no role in the pathogenesis of the disease.
“The more infected and sick, the greater the risk of a new and dangerous mutation. It is dangerous when the virus becomes more contagious or virulent, or falls outside the protection of the vaccine, as was the case with Variant of Omikron. Two doses of the vaccine stopped working, but the third dose actually gives us significant immunity. It has been proven that the higher the doses of vaccines we take, even those based on the basic SARS-CoV-2, the more antibodies our bodies produce against the preserved parts of the coronavirus “- said Prof. Cook.
Will there be a new coronavirus boom?
When asked if an entirely new mutation, resistant to new vaccines targeted for Covid-19, would appear in the fall, he explained that in the case of the Corona virus, antibodies stick to the surface of the protein, with dozens of binding sites. Even if Omikron and its sub-variants contain more than fifty mutations, they will not be able to completely change the structure of the S protein, because it will lose its function, and therefore the so-called conservative fragments remain unchanged.
“SARS-CoV-2 is constantly changing, a new mutation based on Omicron is likely to appear soon. However, the chance of finding another variant completely different from Omikron is not great.
a. Cougar pointed out that we do not need complete and absolute immunity to benefit from vaccination. Even if we get sick despite vaccination, the course of the disease will be much milder thanks to partial immunity – we will be treated at home, and not in a hospital. “Of course cute It is the valuable benefit that vaccines accrue to us.”
Note that the influenza virus mutates as well. Mutations are random, and it is difficult to predict when and what they will arise. It should also be emphasized that if a new variant suddenly appears, then a new vaccine cannot be produced within a week, ”- added the specialist.
Vaccine safety is critical
According to the professor, safety is much more important in vaccination than speed. You cannot skip certain stages of vaccine development and approval. I think confrontation covid-19 pandemic So the whole vaccine production process goes very smoothly. “This is a huge advance,” the virologist said.
“Note how Covid is changing before our eyes. Omicron is not at all lighter than the previous variants. We pass it more gently, because we acquired immunity naturally and through vaccination. A large part of the population is vaccinated, and it is also difficult in Poland to find someone who will not be on Virus connection.
The professor stressed that thanks to the vaccines, we were able to control the epidemic. “The virus is one step ahead of us, but this does not mean that we are no longer in control of the epidemic. Universal vaccination coverage is favorable. Note the absolute numbers. Previously, several hundred people died every day in Poland from COVID-19, now several dozen, sometimes several. By focusing on the numbers and looking at the epidemic objectively compared to what we had a year ago, the risk has decreased significantly, although this does not mean that we can underestimate the Corona virus. In the United States, Covid remains one of the top three causes of death “- he explained expert.
Taking the vaccine pays off
He also stressed that it is very difficult to completely stop the transmission of the virus. Vaccinated people are less infected with SARS-CoV-2 than unvaccinated people, but they are still contagious. He admitted that “the vaccines here did not prove successful because of the interruption of transmission.”
In September, Nature published an article on the development of China and India nasal vaccines to increase local immunity. Nasal vaccines have the opportunity to significantly affect the interruption of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus, because they stimulate local immunity in the upper part airways. It is hoped that such vaccines will significantly reduce transmission of the virus, especially in large populations such as China or India.”
He emphasized that vaccines do not guarantee immortality, and that they also cause side effects, but taking into account the risks of disease, their adoption pays off. “Vaccines are not effective enough to completely protect against disease, but they do protect against death and hospitalization,” the professor emphasized. cooks.
He pointed out that vaccine immunity does not last long, and after a few months it decreases, which is a completely normal phenomenon. For or for the flu Whooping cough She also got sick several times, so vaccinations should be repeated. It was hard to guess that the epidemic was proceeding like this.” Cook.
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