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

17 thoughts on “2021 Will See a Battle Between New Vaccines and New Virus Variants”

  1. That's true for technological adaptation but often not true for biological adaptation. The trait for sickle cell anemia is adaptive against malaria but can cause pre-mature death by itself. If malaria is a bigger problem than sickle cell anemia you select for humans who suffer from what is considered a genetic defect now that there are good anti-malarials and pesticides.

  2. Vaccination does not make you immortal. If you vaccinate tens of millions of people, you expect thousands of heart attacks, cancers, blood clots to occur in temporal association with taking the vaccine just by sheer number of people you have vaccinated. You expect the same in a group of millions of people you haven't vaccinated. To catch unlikely side effects you either need to show cause (by following up on possible rare vaccine side effects and demonstrating a mechanism) or showing a degree of correlation not consistent with random chance (p < 0.05).

  3. I think Derek did a column on the idea of getting a vaccine after having the disease.
    IIRC, the TL;DR was

    • can't hurt
    • probably improves your level of immunity
  4. I just looked up Marvin Haggler.
    Apparently the notion that his death was due to the vaccination is BS

  5. The mRNA vaccines are still just experimental gene treatments. Their safety is open to debate. Marvin Haggler, the former heavyweight boxer, died within 2 days of being vaccinated.

    The CDC VAERS system is reporting this morning that 1394 deaths have been associated with the inoculations. And there were an additional 1066 life threatening cases and 3500+ hospitalizations in all.

  6. That's what I was hoping to find, especially that second paper. My own search hadn't uncovered anything talking about this particular point, I'd hoped somebody here had.

    OK, so it's probably worth it for me to get the vaccine. (Can't get it for a couple months, though, due to having had Covid a month ago.)

  7. I postulate those with the shots should get out into the crowds, assuming that they will acquire small doses of the new viruses that their body can handle. If they constantly acquire new doses they should keep abreast of the virus evolution before it becomes to deviated from their original shot version.
    postscript, no need to slam me, I understand my reasoning is wishful.

  8. I always prefer to get my discussion about actual medical issues from medical sources, (not government medical spokeswombats).

    Have a look at Derek Lowe, long time medical researcher.



    According to someone who both reads the cutting edge medical research, and has the experience and education to fully understand it, it looks like the British strain isn't a threat to someone whose had the original flavour.

    (At least, not significantly more than the original flavour is. You can always catch it again if your particular immune system is rubbish. That's what having a rubbish immune system means.)

  9. That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
    Both AIDS and Covid-19 have left humanity with much greater ability to deal with viruses.

    Which is good, because sooner or later something REALLY nasty is going to turn up.

    (OK, ok, both covid and AIDS did kill people, but as a species I mean.)

  10. Right, I don't doubt that the development cycle for the mRNA vaccines will be enormously faster than the typical vaccine cycle, particularly if they don't insist on treating each variant as a totally novel experimental vaccine.

    As I said, my interest at this point, (As somebody who has already had Covid 19.) is how the natural immune response to the strain prevalent in the US up til now transfers over to this new British strain.

  11. The core COVID-19 vaccine target still remains the spike protein itself, which at this point still is only one spike. With mRNA vaccines allegedly being quite easy to modify and produce, the question is the particular modifications chosen to dial it in. I vaguely remember most of the mRNA vaccines originally were testing 3-5 mods in phase one trials before committing to a particular mod for bulk production due to production line setup FOAK issues in the original first round of vaccines (the ones based on the initial dialed in target which was done in january 2020, based on genome data from december 2019). The makers claim that now that they have their reactors/production lines operational, producing a new mRNA recipe variant is fairly easy. Choosing the mods is still a problem though. At least the major variants they are worried about are still fairly limited in number currently.

    But, this needs to be compared to past influenza vaccine production, which if I remember correctly, typically picked 3-5 major variants out of the ones being observed in western china (those being the ones likeliest to spread globally in the forthcoming general flu season and are more problematic, out of quite a few candidates), which needed an observation lead time of greater than 6 months. Though that was partially related to production issues due to using more classical production methods like using eggs, which has a longer production setup.

  12. mRNA vaccines both safer and much faster to create. Once the vaccination infrastructure is in place it can suppress covid globally and then start looking for new target viruses.

  13. A different vaccine each year?

    It's pretty safe to assume that will be the case.

    The buggers don't stop mutating and looking for ways to hijack our immune response.

  14. So, Covid may end up like influenza? A different vaccine each year?

    Of course, at this point, what I'd really like to know is the extent to which having had the American variant provides immunity to this new British version. Since the vaccines focus on particular proteins, the natural immune response might be different in that regard.

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