South African scientists have confirmed that the Coronavirus variant identified in the country can evade the antibodies that attack it during blood plasma treatment and may render the COVID-19 vaccines ineffective.
Vaccine manufacturers are actively working to determine whether current vaccines are equally effective against the multiple variants of Coronavirus, including the South African one.
According to details, South African genomics experts had identified the mutated COVID-19 variant named 501Y.V2- in Nelson Mandela Bay in December last year.
In an official statement, the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), said:
501Y.V2 shows substantial or complete escape from three classes of therapeutically relevant monoclonal antibodies in COVID-19 convalescent plasma treatment.
NICD statement adds that the findings suggest that the South African variant of Coronavirus may reduce the efficacy of current vaccines.
South African variant of Coronavirus is 50% more infectious than the original viral strain and is responsible for the country’s second viral outbreak.
Researchers across the world have expressed concerns over the findings of NICD and called for large-scale clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of current vaccines against the mutated strains of Coronavirus.