The emergence of the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron in South Africa has sparked fear in the minds of citizens around the world. Dr Samiran Panda, head of the epidemiology and communicable diseases division of the Indian Council of Medical Research, said mRNA vaccines against Covid may not be effective against Omicron. “The mRNA vaccines are directed towards the interaction of spike proteins and receptors. So mRNA vaccines must be adjusted according to this change already observed. But not all vaccines are alike. Covishield and Covaxin produce immunity. thanks to a different antigen presentation of our system, “Dr Panda told the ANI news agency.
The World Health Organization has classified Omicron as a variant of concern, although little is known about this variant. It is believed to be more transmissible and immuno-evasive, according to reports. What scientists have observed in Omicron so far are structural changes, Dr Panda said. But more studies are needed to confirm that the variant is more deadly than other variants of Covid. “Structural changes were observed in a recently reported emerging variant, indicating the possibility of cell receptor adhesion with increased affinity, with the possibility of transmission,” said Dr Panda. But it needs to be considered whether the variant spreads very quickly or causes clusters of infection that take a little longer to appear. By examination he meant laboratory observations, population-based studies, he said. Scientists have already discovered that this variant has 10 mutations. The more a variant mutates, it can become more transmissible, but that doesn’t make a variant more deadly, the expert said. No case of the variant has been found in India so far and the Center has already urged all states and Union territories to be on their guard.
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