2021 Will See a Battle Between New Vaccines and New Virus Variants

The UK Variant of COVID is up to twice as deadly as the previous version of COVID and the CDC says the UK variant will be the dominant version in the US by end of March or mid-April. The latest reports are that the UK variant is 25% of the cases in California and Florida.

The vaccines that have had clinical trials against the UK variant are 75-85% effective against it.

Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca are in discussions regarding updating their vaccines to target new variants. Moderna has said it is waiting on approval from regulators to start trialing a modified version of its vaccine that will target the B.1.351 variant (South Africa variant).

Johnson & Johnson previously reported that the vaccine provided 72% protection against moderate to severe covid-19 infection in the US, but the proportion fell to 66% in Latin America and 57% in South Africa, 28 days after vaccination. Outside the US there has been more of the UK or other variants. The US is transitioning to other variants which suggests a trend toward 60% or lower moderate to severe protection.

In late April and May, it will become clear what trend will develop over the summer with widespread vaccination reducing cases but with new variants infecting people. The pandemic situation will change again in the fall and winter with updated vaccination boosters and possible other virus variants.

SOURCES- UPI, British Medical Journal
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com