COVID-19 Explained: Will The COVID-19 Vaccine Be Effective Against The Latest Coronavirus Variant?Dr Julian W Tang, Consultant Virologist, Clinical Microbiology, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, explained to NDTV if the variant could be a cause of concern amid the vaccine rollout
Highlights
  • Viruses mutate, most of the mutations are fairly neutral: Expert
  • New variant could be more transmissible, maybe not more lethal: Expert
  • Existing vaccine may not be so protective against new variant: Expert

New Delhi: There is a ‘new’ variant of coronavirus in the United Kingdom, and it is causing major worries. Scientists have warned that the COVID-19 variant, which has been spreading around the United Kingdom has undergone further genetic changes and the latest tests have identified the mutation as ‘E484K’. This mutation has already been seen spreading rapidly among both Africa and Brazil variants. Dr Julian W Tang, Consultant Virologist, Clinical Microbiology, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, explained to NDTV if the variant could be a cause of concern amid the vaccine rollout.

NDTV: Please explain this latest variant to us and what are your concerns about it?

Dr Julian W Tang: The UK variant rose back in September-October, last year and spread through the UK. And we think its more transmissible because more of the COVID positive cases have this variant in them, over time. And just recently, we saw that this variant, 501Y.V1, has acquired a new mutation. The variant already has a 501Y mutation. But this 484K is present in the Brazilian variant and in the South African variant. The UK now has the two out of three mutations, that are already present in the Brazilian variant and South African variant. The reason for that may be convergent evolution. Convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar features in species of different periods or epochs in time.

Also Read: Coronavirus Explainer: What Is A Sero Survey And Why Is It Important In The Fight Against COVID-19?

NDTV: As a virologist, is there something different about the way that this particular coronavirus is mutating? What are your concerns on that front?

Dr Julian W Tang: The viruses do mutate and most of the mutations are fairly neutral benign. Some of them will lead to a dead-end and just die off, but the variance the mutations that lead to the ongoing transmission may well be because the virus is getting more used to the human population. So, more transmissible, maybe not more lethal, but we haven’t seen any difference in the symptoms that the virus causes. But we know that the viral loads can be higher with the new variance. So if I take a swab from the mouth and test it to measure the viral load, it may be ten times higher for the new variant than the old variant. So, if I’m coughing at you or breathing and talking to you, without a mask on or even with a mask on, you are more likely to get enough virus to cause infection if you’re standing too close to me. Before, for example, where you could get away with standing within one meter, maybe now you need to stand two meters away from a person, with both wearing masks. Also, now you might need to wear a better mask. So instead of just wearing a surgical mask, you might need a better N95 mask to protect you from this variant because the viral load is higher.

NDTV: What does this new variant mean for the COVID vaccines that are currently being administered? Moderna has said that their vaccine works against the new variant, but will it work against the ‘new’ new variant?

Dr Julian W Tang: When it comes to the old UK variant, which is the 501Y, the vaccines worked fine against that, and there was no problem with it. It’s the new UK variant, the 484k, is causing the problem. To simplify, the old UK variant, without the 484K mutation, was fine with the current vaccines. But the if the 484K starts to IN spread, then the existing vaccine may not be so protective. That’s why both Oxford and Moderna have proposed to change vaccines to incorporate the new mutations. Because when you get vaccinated, you produce antibodies to that mutated form of the virus. So that’s the difference with the vaccines.

Also Read: Coronavirus Vaccine Glossary: 15 Terms To Know About Vaccination

NDTV: How extensively widespread is the 484K variant?

Dr Julian W Tang: So far we’ve only found a few of those, but the UK team can only source about 5 -10 per cent of all positive samples. So, we don’t know whether they’re missing some. Some people may have also been infected asymptomatically and not even sampled yet. So according to me its almost an underestimate on how many cases of this new variant we have in the UK.

NDTV: When it comes to vaccines, India is expecting the launch of their vaccine, which is the Russian Sputnik vaccine in a few months. There were concerns initially, but now everybody has seen the reports stating its efficacy of over 90 per cent. What are your views on that?

Dr Julian W Tang: It is good news for that vaccine because it is relatively cheap, its a bit more expensive than Astrazenca but there’s a reason for that; it’s much cheaper than mRNA vaccines. However, the efficacy level is just as high. So I looked at the paper, and I could tell that the Russians were so confident about the vaccine, that they happen to roll out the vaccine in the population before even the phase three data came through. So they designed the vaccine, they were confident with the vaccine and they did. But the rest of the world didn’t believe them. But now there are reports to show that the efficacy and the side effects are similar to the other vaccines in the market, like Oxford, Pfizer, Moderna, among others.

Also Read: Coronavirus Vaccine Explainer: How Effective Is Novavax Vaccine? When Will It Be Launched In India?

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

15,52,00,384Cases
6,03,54,534Active
9,16,04,062Recovered
32,41,788Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 192 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 15,52,00,384 and 32,41,788 have died; 6,03,54,534 are active cases and 9,16,04,062 have recovered as on May 6, 2021 at 3:48 am.

India

2,10,77,410 412262Cases
35,66,398 79169Active
1,72,80,844 329113Recovered
2,30,168 3980Deaths
In India, there are 2,10,77,410 confirmed cases including 2,30,168 deaths. The number of active cases is 35,66,398 and 1,72,80,844 have recovered as on May 6, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
DistrictCases
Mumbai45,478
Thane13,660
Pune9,920
Mumbai Suburban5,363
Aurangabad1,974
Nashik1,575
Raigad1,462
Palghar1,421
Solapur1,291
Jalgaon1,039
Akola757
Nagpur692
Kolhapur646
Satara629
Ratnagiri350
Amravati291
Dhule228
Hingoli208
Jalna201
Ahmednagar190
Nanded176
Yavatmal150
Sangli145
Latur139
Osmanabad125
Sindhudurg114
Buldhana88
Parbhani78
gondia69
Beed54
Nandurbar42
Gadchiroli42
Bhandara41
Chandrapur32
Washim13
Wardha11

48,80,542 57,640

6,43,782 286

41,64,098 57,006

72,662 920

DistrictCases
Kannur357
Kasaragod333
Palakkad224
Malappuram119
Kollam118
Thrissur106
Thiruvananthapuram104
Pathanamthitta98
Kozhikode90
Alappuzha76
Kottayam73
Ernakulam60
Idukki40
Wayanad36

17,43,932 41,953

3,76,004 18,789

13,62,363 23,106

5,565 58

DistrictCases
Udupi1,176
Kalaburagi669
Yadgir538
Bengaluru Urban529
Raichur369
Mandya346
Belagavi337
Bidar219
Hassan205
Davangere204
Vijayapura201
Dakshina Kannada179
Chikkaballapura149
Mysuru107
Bagalkote103
Uttara Kannada95
Shivamogga67
Dharwad61
Ballari60
Gadag45
Bengaluru Rural40
Tumakuru36
Kolar29
Haveri24
Chikkamagaluru19
Chitradurga14
Koppal5
Kodagu4
Ramanagara3
Chamarajanagara0

17,41,046 50,112

4,87,308 22,925

12,36,854 26,841

16,884 346

DistrictCases
Gautam Buddha Nagar1,119
Agra933
Ghaziabad794
Meerut504
Lucknow386
Saharanpur298
Kanpur Nagar286
Moradabad252
Varanasi243
Hapur225
Aligarh215
Basti214
Amethi206
Rampur203
Jaunpur194
Firozabad190
Barabanki168
Gorakhpur166
Bulandshahr166
Siddharth Nagar159
Ghazipur159
Bijnor157
Deoria143
Azamgarh138
Sant Kabeer Nagar132
Mathura129
Ayodhya120
Muzaffarnagar117
Sambhal116
Sultanpur97
Ambedkar Nagar92
Maharajganj85
Amroha80
Rae Bareli78
Bahraich73
Kheri72
Kannauj69
Baghpat68
Kushi Nagar67
Bhadohi60
Ballia60
Gonda59
Etah52
Hardoi49
Balrampur49
Mau48
Mainpuri46
Etawah46
Hathras43
Unnao42
Jalaun41
Jhansi41
Shamli40
Chandauli38
Auraiya37
Farrukhabad36
Sitapur32
Prayagraj30
Banda27
Shahjahanpur25
Shravasti23
Budaun23
Mirzapur22
Bareilly17
Kasganj16
Pratapgarh15
Pilibhit15
Sonbhadra10
Kaushambi6
Kanpur Dehat4
Chitrakoot4
Lalitpur3
Hamirpur3
Mahoba3
Fatehpur3

13,99,294 31,111

2,62,474 10,094

11,22,669 40,852

14,151 353

DistrictCases
Chennai23,324
Chengalpattu1,314
Thiruvallur774
Villupuram509
Kanchipuram503
Tiruvannamalai496
Cuddalore477
Ariyalur444
Tirunelveli433
Tuticorin333
Kallakurichi324
Madurai322
Salem258
Coimbatore188
Virudhunagar185
Dindigul175
Perambalur133
Ranipet133
Thanjavur130
Theni129
Tiruchirappalli119
Ramanathapuram119
Tiruppur116
Kanniyakumari110
Tenkasi103
Nagapattinam99
Karur88
Namakkal83
Erode75
Vellore71
Thiruvarur67
Pudukkottai53
Sivaganga46
Tirupathur45
Krishnagiri43
The Nilgiris17
Dharmapuri15

12,72,602 23,310

1,28,311 3,081

11,29,512 20,062

14,779 167

DistrictCases
North West5,463
Central4,817
West4,768
New Delhi3,405
North3,059
East2,472
South East2,446
South West2,391
South2,329
North East1,914
Shahdara1,580

12,53,902 20,960

91,859 1,440

11,43,980 19,209

18,063 311

DistrictCases
Kurnool795
Krishna557
Guntur511
Anantapur428
East Godavari356
Chittoor319
Sri Potti Sriramulu Nell*296
Y.S.R.205
West Godavari199
Srikakulam183
Prakasam104
Visakhapatnam103
Vizianagaram23

12,06,232 22,204

1,70,588 10,991

10,27,270 11,128

8,374 85

DistrictCases
Kolkata2,777
Howrah1,435
24 Paraganas North1,031
Hooghly604
24 Paraganas South281
Maldah235
Dinajpur Uttar216
Coochbehar210
Birbhum206
Medinipur West159
Medinipur East153
Nadia139
Purba Bardhaman130
Murshidabad125
Bankura116
Darjeeling97
Jalpaiguri88
Paschim Bardhaman70
Purulia66
Dinajpur Dakshin50
Alipurduar39
Kalimpong18
Jhargram9

9,16,635 18,102

1,21,872 926

7,82,916 17,073

11,847 103

DistrictCases
Bilaspur100
Korba100
Mungeli87
Baloda Bazar85
Jashpur77
Janjgir-Champa56
Mahasamund54
Rajnandgaon52
Kabirdham52
Raigarh47
Raipur46
Balod41
Korea39
Durg31
Bemetara21
Kanker19
Balrampur17
Surguja14
Gariyaband10
Surajpur9
Dhamtari6
Bijapur2
Bastar2
Dantewada0
Kondagaon0
Narayanpur0
Sukma0

8,02,643 15,157

1,29,211 4,752

6,63,694 10,152

9,738 253

DistrictCases
Jaipur2,177
Jodhpur1,748
Udaipur724
Bharatpur563
Kota503
Nagaur500
Ajmer379
Dungarpur374
Pali352
Jhalawar329
Bhilwara250
Sikar231
Chittorgarh188
Tonk171
Jalore164
Rajsamand140
Sirohi130
Bikaner112
Banswara91
Alwar90
Churu81
Jhunjhunu64
Dausa61
Dholpur60
Baran59
Jaisalmer53
Barmer34
Hanumangarh31
SawaiMadhopur26
Karauli17
Pratapgarh14
Ganganagar8
Bundi5

6,85,036 16,815

1,96,683 362

4,83,332 17,022

5,021 155

DistrictCases
Ahmadabad17,125
Surat2,311
Vadodara1,555
Gandhinagar410
Mahesana159
Banas Kantha147
Bhavnagar146
Rajkot135
Arvalli134
Mahisagar125
Anand107
PanchMahals107
Patan105
SabarKantha101
Kachchh99
Kheda98
Jamnagar63
Bharuch56
Botad55
Surendranagar55
Valsad47
GirSomnath45
Dohad43
Chhotaudepur37
Naysari35
Junagadh31
Narmada25
DevbhumiDwarka22
Amreli16
Porbandar11
Tapi6
Dang5
Morbi4

6,33,427 12,955

1,48,124 173

4,77,391 12,995

7,912 133

DistrictCases
Indore3,839
Bhopal1,880
Ujjain799
Burhanpur351
Neemuch319
Jabalpur276
East Nimar266
Sagar228
Gwalior211
Khargone196
Dewas140
Dhar132
Mandsaur112
Morena109
Bhind87
Raisen71
Barwani60
Ratlam51
Rewa39
Shajapur39
Hoshangabad37
Vidisha37
Chhatarpur35
Betul35
Rajgarh31
Dindori29
Sheopur26
Damoh26
Satna24
Anuppur22
Panna20
Tikamgarh18
Sidhi17
Narsinghpur17
Chhindwara16
Agar Malwa15
Mandla15
Shivpuri15
Jhabua14
Shandol14
Singrauli13
Ashoknagar13
Datia12
Sehore12
Umaria10
Balaghat9
Guna8
Harda4
Alirajpur3
Katni3
Seoni2
Niwari0

6,24,985 12,319

89,244 2,605

5,29,667 9,643

6,074 71

DistrictCases
Gurugram2,950
Faridabad867
Sonipat404
Rohtak145
Palwal120
Jhajjar114
Karnal104
Hisar98
Ambala93
Panipat78
Nuh68
Bhiwani60
Rewari56
Kurukshetra55
Sirsa50
Kaithal48
Mahendragarh47
CharkiDadri43
Panchkula39
Fatehabad38
Jind38
Yamunanagar19

5,58,975 15,416

1,13,425 4,595

4,40,590 10,640

4,960 181

DistrictCases
Patna279
Bhagalpur266
Rohtas256
Khagaria253
Begusarai243
Madhubani199
Munger188
Jehanabad178
Katihar175
Darbhanga143
Samastipur139
Siwan139
PurbiChamparan138
Purnia135
Banka134
Buxar134
Nalanda123
Gopalganj123
Nawada122
Sheikhpura118
Gaya115
Kaimur (bhabua)105
Bhojpur103
Saran101
Muzaffarpur96
Saharsa88
Supaul87
Vaishali87
Madhepura82
Kishanganj75
Aurangabad75
Sitamarhi73
Lakhisarai72
Araria68
Pashchim Champaran57
Arwal52
Jamui47
Sheohar20

5,38,677 14,836

1,13,480 3,049

4,22,210 11,726

2,987 61

DistrictCases
Ganjam581
Jajapur322
Khordha238
Baleshwar190
Kendrapara164
Cuttack155
Bhadrak137
Balangir129
Puri103
Sundargarh102
Jagatsinghapur91
Nayagarh86
Mayurbhanj73
Nuapada69
Gajapati61
Dhenkanal36
Boudh34
Kendujhar34
Deogarh33
Kalahandi33
Sonepur29
Kandhamal28
Anugul26
Malkangiri20
Bargarh16
Koraput16
Sambalpur16
Jharsuguda8
Nabarangpur2
Rayagada2

4,89,641 9,889

71,134 3,697

4,16,403 6,176

2,104 16

DistrictCases
Hyderabad2,475
Ranga Reddy183
Suryapet87
Jagitial77
Nizamabad76
MedchalMalkajgiri75
Mancherial43
YadadriBhuvanagiri40
Jogulamba Gadwal40
Vikarabad40
Nalgonda33
Warangal Urban32
Mahabubnagar30
Sangareddy26
Khammam26
Adilabad22
Nirmal21
Karimnagar17
RajannaSircilla16
Medak11
Kamareddy11
Mahabubabad10
Jayashankar Bhupalapally9
Nagarkurnool8
Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8
Jangoan8
Siddipet7
Peddapalli5
Bhadradri Kothagudem5
Warangal Rural4
Mulugu3
Narayanpet3
Wanaparthy1

4,75,748 6,026

77,127 577

3,96,042 6,551

2,579 52

DistrictCases
Amritsar485
Jalandhar297
Ludhiana293
Tarn Taran163
Gurdaspur154
Hoshiarpur140
S.A.S Nagar137
Patiala132
Sangrur107
Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr)99
Pathankot86
Rupnagar (Ropar)74
Faridkot74
Sri Muktsar Sahib71
Moga65
Bathinda60
Fatehgarh Sahib57
Fazilka53
Firozepur50
Kapurthala44
Mansa31
Barnala25

4,07,509 7,953

63,007 1,072

3,34,677 6,701

9,825 180

DistrictCases
Kamrup Metro276
Golaghat203
Nagaon143
Hojai89
Dima Hasao86
Karimganj85
Tinsukia84
Cachar80
Dibrugarh61
Hailakandi57
Lakhimpur57
Marigaon50
Dhemaji47
Kamrup42
Kokrajhar37
Dhubri30
Charaideo29
Barpeta28
Udalguri28
Sonitpur27
Jorhat24
Nalbari23
Darrang20
Sivasagar20
Goalpara19
Biswanath16
Baksa14
KarbiAnglong13
Bongaigaon12
Chirang6
West KarbiAnglong5
South SalmaraMancachar4
Majuli2

2,72,751 4,826

31,262 1,855

2,40,004 2,916

1,485 55

DistrictCases
East Singhbum170
Ranchi148
Hazaribagh110
Garhwa80
Ramgarh75
Koderma58
Simdega48
Dhanbad32
Gumla28
Palamu27
West Singhbhum21
SaraikelaKharsawan20
Giridih19
Bokaro16
Latehar14
Khunti10
Lohardaga8
Deoghar5
Dumka5
Pakur4
Jamtara2
Godda2
Chatra1
Sahebganj0

2,63,115 5,770

59,532 175

2,00,237 5,804

3,346 141

DistrictCases
Dehradun370
Nainital323
Tehri Garhwal110
Haridwar94
Udam Singh Nagar83
Almora71
Champawat45
Pithoragarh43
Chamoli36
PauriGarhwal36
Bageshwar31
Rudraprayag30
Uttar Kashi24

2,11,834 7,783

59,526 2,899

1,49,166 4,757

3,142 127

DistrictCases
Anantnag395
Srinagar300
Kulgam295
Baramulla271
Shopian255
Kupwara231
Bandipora175
Udhampur155
Ramban151
Jammu138
Budgam110
Pulwama108
Kathua53
Rajouri39
Ganderbal37
Poonch35
Doda27
Reasi26
Samba25
Kishtwar10
Mirpur0
Muzaffarabad0

1,96,585 4,716

39,628 2,326

1,54,447 2,338

2,510 52

DistrictCases
Hamirpur117
Kangra105
Una41
Solan32
Chamba29
Bilaspur21
Mandi21
Sirmaur11
Shimla10
Kullu4
Kinnaur2
Lahaul And Spiti0

1,14,787 3,842

25,902 2,330

87,193 1,480

1,692 32

DistrictCases
South Goa69
North Goa57

1,04,398 3,496

27,964 1,233

74,991 2,192

1,443 71

DistrictCases
Pondicherry111
Mahe4
Karaikal2
Yanam0

65,117 1,819

11,717 868

52,517 933

883 18

DistrictCases
Chandigarh313

46,793 817

8,363 193

37,898 610

532 14

DistrictCases
Dhalai196
Sepahijala174
Gomati74
South Tripura53
Unakoti49
West Tripura45
Khowai24
North Tripura14

36,534 300

2,127 222

34,004 75

403 3

DistrictCases
Churachandpur32
Kangpokpi26
Imphal West21
Thoubal18
Imphal East10
Tengnoupal9
Bishnupur7
Senapati6
Chandel5
Kamjong5
Ukhrul4
Jiribam3
Pherzawl3
Kakching2
Tamenglong2
Noney1

33,353 397

2,657 266

30,262 121

434 10

DistrictCases
Changlang31
Papum Pare8
Lohit3
Namsai2
West Siang1
East Siang1
Upper Siang1
Tawang1
PakkeKessang1
West Kameng0
Upper Subansiri0
Tirap0
Siang0
Shi Yomi0
Anjaw0
Lower Subansiri0
Lower Dibang Valley0
Longding0
Leparada0
KurungKumey0
KraDaadi0
Kamle0
East Kameng0
Dibang Valley0
Lower Siang0

19,412 220

1,776 144

17,577 76

59

DistrictCases
East Khasi Hills22
West Garo Hills5
South West Garo Hills4
North Garo Hills1
West Jaintia Hills1
West Khasi Hills1
East Garo Hills0
East Jaintia Hills0
Ribhoi0
South Garo Hills0
South West Khasi Hills0

18,283 269

2,135 116

15,957 147

191 6

DistrictCases
Dimapur20
Mon8
Kohima7
Kiphire3
Tuensang3
Peren2
Phek1
Longleng0
Mokokchung0
Wokha0
Zunheboto0

15,004 287

2,038 240

12,848 47

118

DistrictCases
Kargil77
LehLadakh43

14,811 251

1,494 120

13,166 131

151

DistrictCases
East District3
South District3
North District0
West District0

8,919 221

2,050 120

6,714 97

155 4

DistrictCases
Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

8,325 151

1,599 7

6,722 158

4

DistrictCases
Kolasib11
Aizawl10
Mamit8
Lawngtlai2
Lunglei2
Saitual1
Champhai0
Hnahthial0
Khawzawl0
Saiha0
Serchhip0

6,964 170

1,642 33

5,305 137

17

DistrictCases
South Andamans33
Nicobars1
North And Middle Andaman1

6,223 42

224 8

5,928 49

71 1

DistrictCases
Lakshadweep District0

3,376 127

1,129 36

2,240 162

7 1

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