The existing vaccines om Covid-19 vaccines have showed reduced signs of efficacy against the Delta variant of coronavirus, which was first detected in India, World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist said on Monday. However, the vaccines are still found to be effective at preventing severe illness and deaths.
A report in The Hindustan Times quoted WHO official as saying that in the future, there might be a “constellation of mutations” which could mean that the vaccines are likely to lose their potency against fighting Covid-19.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan had earlier said that B.1.617.2 Delta variant is becoming the dominant variant globally because of its increased transmissibility. It was first detected in India around October 2020.
“The whole situation is so dynamic because of the variants that are now circulating and…the Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its significantly increased transmissibility,” Swaminathan said at a press briefing in Geneva.
The recently detected Delta plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India and considered to be the reason behind the deadly second wave in the country and also in several others including the UK.
The variant is highly transmissible of the virus and it is listed as the fourth variant of concern by the WHO. It also poses a threat to the UK where the daily cases have shot up to more than 10,000 again.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday warned of a “rough winter” ahead even though things may be “looking good” for July 19 to be the so-called “terminus point” marking an end to all lockdown restrictions in the country. His warning came as the UK registered a further 9,284 daily COVID-19 infections on Sunday, a day before the government had planned to ease all lockdown measures until the Delta variant forced a month-long delay into July.
Portuguese authorities have also confirmed suspicions that the new delta variant of the coronavirus is driving a spike in new cases in the Lisbon region. Portugal’s National Health Institute said Sunday the highly infectious variant that was first found in India has a prevalence of 60% of new cases in the nation’s capital.