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COVID-19: Moderna Says It Believes Its Vaccine Will Work Against New Variants

The emergence of new variants of coronavirus in Britain, South Africa and Brazil has created concern that mutations in the virus may make vaccines less effective, according to experts

COVID-19: Moderna Says It Believes Its Vaccine Will Work Against New Variants
Highlights
  • The goal of Moderna’s vaccine is to keep people out of hospital: Dr Offit
  • Pfizer says tests showed its vaccine is effective against Britain variant
  • India manufactures more than 60% of all vaccines sold across the globe

Reuters: Moderna Incorporated said on Monday (January 25) it believes its COVID-19 vaccine protects against new variants found in Britain and South Africa, although it will test a new booster shot aimed at the South African variant after concluding the antibody response could be diminished. The company said in a news release it found no reduction in the antibody response against the variant found in Britain. Against the South African variant, it found a reduced response but still believed its two-dose regimen would provide protection.

Also Read: ‘I Feel Safe After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine,’ Said A Health Worker During PM Modi’s Interaction With Beneficiaries At Varanasi

Moderna shares closed 12.2% higher at $147.00 on Monday. The emergence of new variants in Britain, South Africa and Brazil has created some concern that mutations in the virus may make vaccines less effective. Moderna said it is looking at whether a booster shot – either of its existing vaccine or of a new shot designed to protect against the South African variant – could be made available in future if evidence were to emerge that protection declined. “The virus isn’t going to stand still,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge said on a conference call. He said,

While the current strains appear to be well-protected by our COVID-19 … it’s important that we remain vigilant and develop potential tools and countermeasures that would allow us to continue to beat back the pandemic.

Moderna said it expects its current vaccine will remain protective for at least a year after completing the two-dose course. It does not expect to test a third dose until at least six months after that course is finished.

Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said in a research note it was encouraging that the antibody response of the Moderna vaccine to the South African variant was still above the levels that provide protection.

Mr. Yee also said the speed with which Moderna was able to design a new booster shot candidate was proof of the flexibility of the new mRNA technology upon which it is based.

Also Read: Vaccine Hesitancy: What It Means And How We Can Tackle It, Experts Explain

Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel, said he was only mildly concerned the vaccine would not be protective against the variants.

“It is a little worrisome that you see a lesser neutralizing antibody response, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unprotected,” he said, noting that even these lower levels may still be enough to protect against serious infections.

The goal of this vaccine is to keep you out of the hospital and to keep you out of the morgue. If you get a symptomatic infection or mildly symptomatic infection that is not a burden to the healthcare system, Dr Offit said.

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE have also said tests showed their vaccine is effective against the variant found in Britain, but have not yet disclosed results against the South African variant.

That variant first found in Britain has caused a massive surge in cases there and has also been found in more than a dozen U.S. states. U.S. public health officials expect it to be the dominant variant in the United States within six weeks.

Also Read: WHO Plans Slew Of COVID-19 Vaccine Approvals For Global Rollout

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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

23,96,06,768Cases
20,13,42,617Active
3,33,82,100Recovered
48,82,051Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 23,96,06,768 and 48,82,051 have died; 20,13,42,617 are active cases and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 4:15 am.

India

3,40,37,592 16,862Cases
2,03,6782,908Active
3,33,82,100 19,391Recovered
4,51,814 379Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,37,592 confirmed cases including 4,51,814 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,03,678 and 3,33,82,100 have recovered as on October 15, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,86,280 2,384

33,157 6

64,13,418 2,343

1,39,705 35

Kerala

48,29,944 9,246

96,421 1,802

47,06,856 10,952

26,667 96

Karnataka

29,82,399 310

9,607 43

29,34,870 347

37,922 6

Tamil Nadu

26,83,396 1,259

15,451 199

26,32,092 1,438

35,853 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,59,122 540

6,588 27

20,38,248 557

14,286 10

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,008 12

135 4

16,86,976 16

22,897

West Bengal

15,79,012 530

7,576 81

15,52,491 601

18,945 10

Delhi

14,39,311 28

337 1

14,13,885 29

25,089

Odisha

10,33,809 521

4,890 38

10,20,645 477

8,274 6

Chhattisgarh

10,05,614 16

203 4

9,91,841 20

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,382 8

42 6

9,45,386 2

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,244 34

215 20

8,15,943 14

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,669 12

111 1

7,82,035 11

10,523

Haryana

7,71,035 16

105 158

7,60,881

10,049 174

Bihar

7,26,016 8

42 6

7,16,313 2

9,661

Telangana

6,68,618 168

4,171 40

6,60,512 207

3,935 1

Assam

6,05,847 207

3,646 157

5,96,263 362

5,938 2

Punjab

6,01,971 33

234 11

5,85,199 16

16,538 6

Jharkhand

3,48,406 11

130 4

3,43,141 7

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,729 28

175 22

3,36,157 6

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,30,834 93

935 11

3,25,473 104

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,113 182

1,387 5

2,16,011 173

3,715 4

Goa

1,77,356 68

679 27

1,73,342 39

3,335 2

Puducherry

1,27,259 49

647 4

1,24,763 53

1,849

Manipur

1,22,432 69

1,444 15

1,19,099 84

1,889

Mizoram

1,10,719 901

13,601 435

96,744 1,332

374 4

Tripura

84,295 4

110 8

83,369 12

816

Meghalaya

82,734 87

892 31

80,411 115

1,431 3

Chandigarh

65,295 10

32 5

64,443 15

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,958 4

202 22

54,476 26

280

Sikkim

31,722 6

224 1

31,108 7

390

Nagaland

31,516 9

230 8

30,613 17

673

Ladakh

20,867 6

44 2

20,615 4

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,675

3 1

10,668 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

2 0

10,312

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,640 3

10 1

7,501 2

129

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