California’s ‘Epsilon’ COVID-19 Variant Could Evade Vaccines: Study – JP


A variant of the CCP virus has properties that may help it be more resistant to current vaccines or the immunity a person has gained from a past COVID-19 infection, according to a new peer-reviewed study.

The “Epsilon” variant, first detected in California in May 2020, has three mutations in its spike protein that help it to neutralize antibodies that are produced by mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna, researchers from the University of Washington and the San Francisco-based lab Vir Biotechnology stated in their report.

Spike proteins are found on the surface of the coronavirus and are what enable the virus to attach to and enter human cells. Current vaccines are being used against it.

The study, published in the journal Science on July 1, suggests that the spike protein mutations may also help the Epsilon variant evade the immunity that a person previously developed from past infection with the CCP virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

The effectiveness of antibodies generated by current vaccines or by a person’s previous infection was 50 to 70 percent less effective against the Epsilon variant than against wild-type circulating CCP virus strains (that contain no major mutations), according to the study’s findings. – READ MORE

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