COVID-19 vaccines less effective against Delta variant, says WHO

Current COVID-19 vaccines are less effective against the Delta coronavirus variant, which was first detected in India, but they still prevent severe disease and death, Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization‘s technical lead for COVID-19, said on Monday.

“There is a recent study that came out in The Lancet … that looked at the reduced titer neutralization from the alpha, beta, gamma, and delta variants showing a reduction in neutralization on the delta variant. Not as much as the beta variant, which is the variant that was first detected in South Africa … Having said that, these vaccines are still highly effective. They produce enough antibodies to protect against severe disease and death,” Van Kerkhove said at a press briefing.

The WHO expert added that the “constellation of mutations” in coronavirus variants could lead to vaccines becoming ineffective.

“There may be a time when we have a constellation of mutations that arise in a variant where our vaccines actually lose their potency, and that’s what we want to make sure we prevent,” Van Kerkhove said.


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