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In addition to the variants described in the last post, ECDC reports following additional variants.

  • Mu, Lambda, and 1 undetermined each from Colombia, Peru, and UK respectively as VOI
  • Alpha from UK, Epsilon from USA, Eta from Nigeria, Theta from Philippines, Kappa from India, Iota from USA, Zeta from Brazil, and 18 undetermined variants were identified but later de-escalated due to less prevalence.

Vaccines Efficacy against Sars-COV-2 Variants

The efficacy of all major vaccines has been determined against all Variants of Concern. Here is the snapshot. All results are for two doses, or one in case of Moderna vaccine.

Alpha Variant

  • Oxford – Astra Zeneca            74.5%
  • Pfizer – BioNTech                   93.7%
  • Novavax                                   85.6%
  • Moderna                                 100%
  • Sinovac                                    71-91%

Beta Variant

  • Oxford – Astra Zeneca            82%
  • Pfizer – BioNTech                    95%
  • Novavax                                   60%
  • Moderna                                 95%
  • Sinovac                                     70%
  • Johnson & Johnson                 57%

Gamma Variant

  • Pfizer – BioNTech                   60%
  • Others                                     Low but indeterminate

Delta Variant

  • Oxford – Astra Zeneca            67%
  • Pfizer – BioNTech                   88%
  • Sputnik                                    90%

Figures for other variants are either not clearly determined and/or not reported.

Omicron

We know it was first reported from South Africa. It is also being said that it may spread more easily than other variants.

Breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are expected, but vaccines are effective a preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. Early evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Omicron variant can spread the virus to others. App FDA-approved or authorized vaccines expected to be effective against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.

W.H.O Position on COVID Vaccines

As of November 15, 2021, WHO has evaluated that the following vaccines against COVID-19 have met the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy.

  1. Astra Zeneca – Oxford vaccine
  2. Johnson and Johnson
  3. Moderna
  4. Pfizer/BioNTech
  5. Sinopharm
  6. Sinovac
  7. COVAXIN

Approved COVID-19 vaccines provide a high degree of protection against getting seriously ill and dying from the disease, although no vaccine is 100% protective.

WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts – SAGE – has concluded that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is suitable for use by people aged 12 years and above. Children aged between 12 and 15 who are at high risk may be offered this vaccine alongside other priority groups for vaccination.

About Boosters

[Quote] The Center for Disease Control USA recommends that adults get a booster shot either 2 months after their J&J one-dose vaccine, or 6 months after their second Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shot.

Adults can choose any vaccine as their booster, regardless of what vaccine they had already received.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, USA, said those who have received the J&J vaccine would benefit from receiving a booster with either Pfizer-BioNTech, or Moderna.

A number of studies suggest that mixing vaccines from different manufacturers during the first two doses produces a better immune response.

Given this, Dr. Blumberg suggests those who have had Pfizer-BioNTech in their initial series might consider choosing Moderna for their booster where possible.

By the same token, those who have had Moderna for their initial series might consider Pfizer-BioNTech as their booster if these alternatives are readily available.

When it comes to booster effectiveness, experts say the mRNA vaccines are likely to produce similar results, with Moderna potentially providing slightly more protection.

“There is an increasing number of studies that suggest the Moderna vaccine results in a higher antibody titer compared to Pfizer, a slightly higher antibody titer. Both mRNA vaccines appear to be significantly better than Johnson & Johnson, and the Moderna appears to be slightly better compared to Pfizer in terms of inducing higher titers,” Blumberg said.

To be Continued…..

Disclaimer. Most pictures in these blogs are taken from Google Images which does not show anyone’s copyright claim. However, if any such claim is presented, we shall remove the image with suitable regrets.

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern as of 3 December 2021 (europa.eu)

COVID-19 vaccines (who.int)

Covid-19: How many variants are there, and what do we know about them? | The BMJ

COVID-19 Vaccines, Boosters, and Omicron Shots (healthline.com)

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