Sep, 2021 - By SMI
A study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston stresses on the importance of designing COVID-19 vaccine booster to combat the virus.
Vaccination is an effective tool to combat coronavirus. Moreover, due to emerging new variants vaccination drive should be rolled out globally. According to the World Health Organization’s report, a total of 5,352,927, 296 vaccine doses have been administered globally as of September 5, 2021. The researchers in Texas have revealed that currently used vaccines against COVID-19 need to be modified in order to match with the circulating variants of concern (VOCs) and variants of interest (VOIs) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The researchers have shown this concern for modification of vaccines due to emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants with higher transmission rate which have the potential to escape neutralizing antibodies generated either through vaccination or natural infection. In this context, it is important to note that each new variant spike have higher and faster neutralizing titers against its homologous SARS-CoV-2 variant. Moreover, the spike protein or S protein initiates the SARS-CoV-2 infection process and VOCs assemble mutations in the spike gene which speed up the efficacy of viral transmission and immune escape. Thus, these observations have raised concern for modification of vaccines to match VOCs such as Beta owing to its reduced neutralization sensitivity to the current vaccine sera. The researchers even added that the design of booster vaccine solely depends on the fact that whether new variants can escape the neutralizing antibodies generated by the current vaccines or natural infection.
The researchers recommended that vaccines should be administered depending on the prevalence of specific variants and the prescribed vaccine must be efficient against other co-circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2. They suggested that vaccination drive should be continued globally and booster vaccines should be developed as per requirement so as to control and end the COVID-19 pandemic.
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