The federal health officials are taking their heights with their surveillance of the highly transmissible Covid -19 variant which is first identified in India as experts warning that under the vaccinated areas in the U.S. which could be hot spot for the mutant formation.
United States is attributing to the B.1.617 variant which currently sits below 1%. Currently the growth rate remains unclear due to some small sized samples. At the same time, there are other science groups that have said that the strain could be much below 50% more transmissible than that of B.1.1.7 which is the UK variant. The mutation was first identified in the United States in the late of December and is quite dominant nationwide.
Information gathered from UK found that the most advanced and highly effective vaccines against the B.1.617 variant were by Pfizer. This reacted two weeks after the second dose affirming the preliminary data from the phase 3 clinical trials. Still it’s noted that the mutation has arrived in the U.S. at the time when the anti pandemic measures were losing and around 60% of the population is not completely vaccinated. Among public, it’s a must that the vaccine is playing a major role with higher effectiveness against the variants. This is being passed on by the co founder of global health, Mr. Samuel Scarpino. He said, as an organization that tracks the covid cases and variants internationally. But there are even some states in the U.S. which are quite low with vaccination coverage putting them at a risk for the potential outbreak. The B.1.617 variant has been declared as devastating to India and was first detected in the U.S. this first got in the month between February and late march of the year. Later on the 4th day of May, the U.S. centers for disease control and prevention designated the B.1.617 variants as a variant of interest. Now with various studies it has been designated that the one escalated its standing to the variant of concern as said by Jade Fulce (the CDC spokes person). Currently the CDC has classified around eight variants among which three are forms of the B.1.617 Strains. The agency says that these variants are predicted to affect the process of transmission, diagnostics, therapeutics as well as immune escape. But still bears limited prevalence or expansion in the U.S. and other countries.
Various variants that are creating concern:-
There are around five variants creating concern and are listed by the CDC. This covers those showing the evidence of impact relatively on diagnostics, treatment or vaccines along with increased transmissibility or severity of the disease. There are local health agencies which urged to report these cases to the CDC and will report them to the world health organization. The designation will spur efforts to control the spreading of the variants with measuring its potentiality as well as development of the new diagnostics or the modification of vaccines or treatments. Still based on certain reports, there are insufficient data to evaluate with higher degree of confidence whether these lineages are true variants of concern or not.
It’s the agency that stands determinant to the variant classification including the reviews of the latest case percentages as well as the laboratory reports. They also look ahead to the epidemiological and clinical research data (as said by Jasmine Reed). The CDC also stands in touch with the global partners, including the WHO and share data with coordinating genomic surveillance and characterization of the variants.
Further with details released recently from U.K. study by the public health England. It’s confirmed that both the Pfizer vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. on emergency basis and the Astra Zeneca plc shot which is not yet available in the U.S. On emergency basis. These are truly meant to be highly effective against the B.1.617.2 form of the variants first detected in India. With various studies conducted from 5h of April to 16th of May, the Pfizer –BioNTech short was effective to 88% against the B.1.617.2 variant two weeks after the second dose. For those taken two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective to 60%.
There are expectations of the vaccines to be more effective with preventing hospitalization and death was said by Mary Ramsay, (head of immunization at public health England). So it’s quite important that one must get both the doses to gain maximum protection against the existing and emerging variants.
There are still some health experts, who are putting questions to the CDC on the priority of the state opening up with loosening the anti pandemic measures under vaccinated pockets of the U.S. which could be at risk of B.1.617 out breaks.
New vaccination processes:-
The new U.S. vaccine roll out efforts varies from state to state, New Mexico, Maine and New Jersey. They are the ones to have administered enough doses that would cover more than half of their population. Other regions are lagging like those of Idaho, Wyoming and Louisiana with just vaccination of 35% of their population. But Mississippi and Alabama have administered more for only 30%.
The spike protein:-
The spike protein is the major one related to the mutation process. This has indeed become a major concern for which the scientists are paying more and more of attention to the mutation in the gene that encodes the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This plays a major role in the entry of the virus to the cells. The following targeted by the vaccines, is the protein that influences the immunity and the efficiency of the vaccine to the B.1.617,a variant of global concern. Some of the early evidences suggests that it is highly contagious and have the power to carry at least some propensity to evade the antibodies, including the bamlanivimab, which is a monoclonal antibody therapy developed by the AbCellera biologics and Eli Lily & Co. further the mutation is detected in around 44 countries as of the mid- May with a dramatic rise in the number of cases.