Russia says it discovered new coronavirus mutations in Siberia
The fear with coronavirus mutations is that they could render otherwise potent vaccines ineffective
/NOVOSTIVL/ New coronavirus mutations have been found amongst people in Siberia, according to a top health official in Russia. The revelation comes as Russia has recently seen a huge increase in new coronavirus infections and deaths.
“We see certain changes in Siberia which allow us to assume that in this region it is forming its own version with specific mutations,” Anna Popova of the Russian-based Rospotrebnadzor said this week.
While further details surrounding the mutation remain unclear, this of course isn’t the first time we’ve seen stories regarding COVID-19 mutations. Earlier this month, Denmark, along with a few other countries in Europe, began noticing a new coronavirus mutation stemming from mink populations. As a result, Danish authorities were planning to cull 17 million mink as a preventative measure before backtracking on the plan.
The big fear associated with a coronavirus mutation is that it could render upcoming vaccines ineffective and, in turn, prolong the pandemic indefinitely. Fortunately, studies on the matter suggest that this isn’t the case.
“A US study in September found little evidence that mutations in the virus have made it deadlier,” The New York Post reports, “saying that the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, was more strongly linked to patients’ underlying medical conditions and genetics.”
With respect to the coronavirus mutation in Europe, Dr. Fauci recently explained that it’s an issue to pay attention to but not something that warrants any sort of worry.
“Whenever you see something like that, you need to pay attention to it,” Fauci explained. “You certainly can’t just blow it off. You have got to look at it, you have got to take a look at what it means, what the mutation has to do with various aspects of the molecules that are responsible for the binding of antibodies.”
“It does not appear, at this point, that that mutation that’s been identified in the minks is going to have an impact on vaccines and affect a vaccine-induced response,” Fauci later added. “It might have an impact on certain monoclonal antibodies that are developed against the virus. We don’t know that yet. But at first cut, it doesn’t look like something that is going to be really a big problem for the vaccines that are currently being used to reduce an immune response.”
With coronavirus infections skyrocketing across the U.S., and across other parts of the world as well, the last thing anyone wants to hear is that a new strain is poised to take us back to square one. That said, it’s encouraging that both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines have proven to be 95% effective in clinical trials with no serious or harmful side effects reported. As it stands now, healthcare workers could start receiving Pfizer’s vaccine by mid-December.
It’s also worth noting that the antibody cocktail from Regeneron that helped treat President Trump when he had the coronavirus recently attained an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.