Transmission of the coronavirus among vaccinated people could increase the risk of an even more dangerous variant

  • The CDC says vaccinated people should do that mask inside again as cases of the Delta variant Golf.
  • A study suggests transmission among vaccinated people may lead to new variants evading vaccines.
  • The virus is “just a few mutations possibly gone” from dodge vaccines, the CDC said.

The coronavirus could be “just one” few mutations potential way” from evolving into a variant that can evade existing ones COVID-19 vaccines, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday.

According to Research published Friday in the journal Scientific Reports, vaccinated people — counterintuitively — play a key role in that risk.
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The best way to stop coronavirus deaths and serious illness is to roll out vaccines quickly. However, the researchers concluded that a vaccine-resistant strain is most likely to develop in a scenario that combines three conditions: First, a large part of a population is vaccinated, but not everyone. Second, there is a lot of virus circulating. And third, no steps have been taken to curb potential viral transmission from vaccinated people. Sounds familiar? Before the rise of Delta, which now accounts for more than 80% of U.S. coronavirus cases, that situation was not a concern, as research suggested vaccinated people were unlikely to transmit other versions of the virus. But according to a CDC study released Friday, vaccinated people can transmit the Delta variant just as easy as the unvaccinated.

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That could help explain the recent rise in the number of cases in the US: in the past month, the country’s seven-day average of new daily cases has surpassed fivefold: from 12,263 on June 29 to 71,621 on Thursday.

The researchers concluded that in an environment where Delta is spreading to all people – regardless of vaccination status – it is imperative to get more people vaccinated immediately to prevent the emergence of a new vaccine-resistant variant.

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‘Evolutionary arms race’

Transmission of the coronavirus among vaccinated people could increase the risk of an even more dangerous variant
Pedestrians cross 6th Avenue in Midtown in New York City on April 10, 2021.
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The researchers created a mathematical model that predicted which conditions are associated with the highest risk of developing new variants that can evade vaccines.

They found that if some of the people are vaccinated, but many unvaccinated people remain, a variant that can evade or partially bypass vaccine-induced immune defenses has a competitive advantage over other versions of the virus. So over time, those less suitable strains — which vaccinated hosts can’t infect — die out, leaving vaccine-resistant strains to dominate the viral landscape. If viral transmission is not controlled – many people party without masks, for example – those new dominant variants can easily spread and evolve further. “This means that the vaccine-resistant strain is spreading more quickly through the population at a time when most people are being vaccinated,” said Simon Rella of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, who participated in the study, said in an online briefing: CNN reported:.

Rella and colleagues wrote that these dynamics could lead to “vaccine development catching up in the evolutionary arms race against new strains.”

Partially vaccinated people can unknowingly learn the virus to evade our defenses

Transmission of the coronavirus among vaccinated people could increase the risk of an even more dangerous variant
Researchers sequence coronavirus samples in the microbiology laboratory of the University Hospital of Badajoz in Spain on April 15, 2021.
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Virologists cite variations of a virus that slip through vaccine- or disease-induced immune defenses”escape from mutantsSo far, no variants of the coronavirus can completely escape COVID-19 vaccines.

But the reason a future variant could do this is that the shots are all aimed at the coronavirus’s spike protein — the sharp, crown-like bumps on the virus’s surface that help it penetrate our cells. If several, significant mutations If the characteristics of that protein don’t change enough, antibodies may not be able to recognize or fight that new variant properly.

Infections in people who have been partially vaccinated increase the risk of a breakthrough mutation because the body takes time to develop the antibodies, T cells and B cells that fight the virus, and our immune response increases dramatically after the second dose. So if someone becomes infected in the meantime, the virus gives a foretaste of what it will encounter. With Delta, research shows that a single shot of the Pfizer of AstraZeneca vaccines is only 33.5% effective against the variant.

“If we’re not all immunized, it creates a perfect condition for the emergence of variants that are escape mutants,” James Hildreth, an immunologist and president of Meharry Medical College, told Insider in April. “If there are people who have low levels of immunity, in a way that’s almost worse than having no immunity at all.”

Hildreth added that partial immunity “can actually stimulate the formation and presence of viruses that do not bind to the antibody.” “They’re going to take over and be transferred,” he said.

Transmission of the coronavirus among vaccinated people could increase the risk of an even more dangerous variant
Anti-vaccine activists protest in front of the Massachusetts State House in Boston on August 30, 2020.
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New study supports recent CDC guideline that vaccinated people should wear masks in high transmission areas. Hildreth is fully vaccinated, but said that didn’t stop him from putting on his mask when he leaves the house.

“I don’t want to become a vector and unknowingly spread the virus to others, which is another reason I wear the mask,” he said.

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