Recent articles about Japan 日本関連英文記事 Vol.43

Recent articles about Japan 日本関連英文記事 Vol.37(incl Omicron variant, Tonga eruption オミクロン株、トンガ噴火含む)

cf. World Vol.224 (Tonga eruption)

#Coronavirus #コロナウイルス Vol.34(Omicron variant オミクロン株 – treatments, etc. 治療薬など)

All the below links are in English. Excerpts are on our own.


World Vol.215 (coronavirus – Omicron variant)
UK Vol.189 (coronavirus – Omicron variant)

Pfizer Shares In Vitro Efficacy of Novel COVID-19 Oral Treatment Against Omicron Variant (01/18/2022) | @Pfizer
…the in vitro efficacy of nirmatrelvir, the active main protease (Mpro) inhibitor of PAXLOVID (nirmatrelvir [PF-07321332] tablets and ritonavir tablets), is maintained against the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron. …PAXLOVID has the potential to maintain plasma concentrations many-fold times higher than the amount required to prevent Omicron from replicating in cells. …
…PAXLOVID reduced risk of hospitalization or death by nearly 90% compared to placebo for high-risk patients when treated within five days of symptom onset…
Current VoCs * can be resistant to treatments that work by binding to the spike protein found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. PAXLOVID, however, works intracellularly by binding to the highly conserved Mpro of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Previous data have also indicated that PAXLOVID maintains in vitro efficacy against earlier and current VoCs, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda, and Mu.
PAXLOVID is currently authorized for conditional or emergency use in several countries across the globe. Pfizer has submitted applications for regulatory approval or authorization to multiple regulatory agencies and anticipates further regulatory decisions to follow.
* VoCs = variants of concern

‘There are very limited treatments’: COVID outpatient treatments evaporate with omicron (w Video; 01/17/2022) | @WLWT
… The oral COVID-19 treatments from Pfizer and Merck are expected to be effective in treating outpatients, but manufacturing hasn’t ramped up to the point that the pill-form treatments are readily available. …

‘Omicron patients under 60 with no comorbidities can start symptomatic treatment with paracetamol’ (01/18/2022) | @IndianExpress
…a 30 per cent hospitalisation risk reduction with the use of molnupiravir. If someone above the age of 50 has a consistent fever for two days alongside two or three comorbidities, the doctor might prescribe them these antivirals. …
…there is no need to worry as these pills are not prescribed to children below the age of 18, or to patients who require hospitalization, or to pregnant women. “The pill must be administered within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms for patients in the high-risk population group, namely, hypertensives, diabetics, people on immunosuppressed medication, senior citizens, people with other ailments etc.”…

WHO adds new drugs to COVID treatments amid Omicron surge (14/01/2022) | @AJEnglish
… The drug baricitinib, which is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, is “strongly recommended” for patients with severe or critical COVID-19, in combination with corticosteroids…
The panel also gave a “conditional recommendation” for sotrovimab, an experimental monoclonal antibody treatment, for those with non-severe COVID-19 but at the very highest risk of hospital admission. Monoclonal antibodies are lab-created compounds that mimic the body’s natural defence mechanism. …
The “guidance adds to previous recommendations for the use of interleukin-6 receptor blockers and systemic corticosteroids for patients with severe or critical covid-19; conditional recommendations for the use of casirivimab-imdevimab (another monoclonal antibody treatment) in selected patients; and against the use of convalescent plasma, ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine in patients with covid-19 regardless of disease severity,” the WHO said in a statement. …
Baricitinib is produced by United States pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, and while generic versions are available in India and Bangladesh, patents are in force in many other countries including Brazil and Indonesia. …
“The possibilities for providing high-level intensive care are limited, so saving more lives of people with severe and critical infections relies heavily on having access to affordable medicines that we can add to the steroids, oxygen and close supportive care that we already provide in our projects. As new treatments emerge, it will be simply inhumane if they remain unavailable in resource-limited settings, just because they are patented and too expensive.”
The WHO added what it said were “lifesaving” interleukin-6 receptor blockers to its list of treatments for COVID-19 last July. It recommended the use of corticosteroids in September 2020.
In recent weeks, government regulators have also approved new oral treatments for the disease, including Paxlovid, Pfizer’s antiviral pill, which showed close to 90 percent efficacy in preventing hospital admission and death in high-risk patients. It also retained its effectiveness with Omicron, the company said.

WHO recommends two new drugs to treat COVID-19 (14/01/2022) | @WHO

Omicron: What you need to know about the COVID variant (01/18/2022) | @CBSnews
Will current medicines still work?
Spokespeople for Merck and Pfizer both say they believe their antiviral pills, which have been hailed as potential game-changers in the fight against the virus, will likely remain effective against Omicron. Pfizer’s drug, Paxlovid, and Merck’s, molnupiravir, were both granted FDA emergency use authorization in December.
Of the monoclonal antibody treatments currently authorized for COVID-19, only two drugs — one made by AstraZeneca and one from GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology — appear to remain effective against Omicron.
The Biden administration recently lifted curbs on the distribution of monoclonal antibodies from Regeneron and Eli Lilly, pointing to “significant variability” in Omicron’s prevalence around the country and new guidelines published by the National Institutes of Health on prioritizing limited supplies of the drugs.
Regeneron said on December 16 it was working on “next generation” monoclonal antibodies that could effectively treat Omicron cases, acknowledging that its current antibodies “have diminished potency against Omicron.”

2 charts show how Omicron symptoms differ from Delta and past coronavirus variants (01/14/2022) | @businessinsider
Coronavirus Omicron 2 charts @businessinsider







What are the symptoms of Omicron? (w YouTube; 18/01/2022) | ZOE
… The top 5 symptoms in both periods were: 1. runny nose; 2. headache; 3. fatigue (mild or severe); 4. sneezing; 5. sore throat
…the PREDICT program… people who ate a high-quality diet, rich in plant-based foods, were 10% less likely to get COVID-19 and 40% less likely to get severe COVID-19 requiring treatment in the hospital. …

Omicron Variant: What You Need to Know | @CDCgov
Coronavirus Self-Checker | @CDCgov
Coronavirus: 14 Omicron symptoms ranked from most to least prevalent (01/19/2022) | @timesofindia
Why ‘mild’ COVID symptoms aren’t what you think they are (01/18/2022) | @Deseret
Am I asymptomatic, or do I just really not want to have Covid-19? A guide. (01/18/2022) | @voxdotcom
Here’s One Early Omicron Symptom You Should Watch for as Infections Climb (w Video; 01/15/2022) | @nbcchicago
Omicron: What We Know About the New Coronavirus Variant (01/03/2022) | @nytimes

US faces wave of omicron deaths in coming weeks, models say (01/18/2022) | @AP
COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub

#Coronavirus #コロナウイルス Vol.33(ivermectin, etc.)

All the below links are in English. Excerpts are on our own.


Science and Technology Vol.70 (coronavirus drugs)

Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19 (03/05/2021) | @US_FDA
…The FDA’s job is to carefully evaluate the scientific data on a drug to be sure that it is both safe and effective for a particular use, and then to decide whether or not to approve it. …
There seems to be a growing interest in a drug called ivermectin to treat humans with COVID-19. Ivermectin is often used in the U.S. to treat or prevent parasites in animals. The FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical support and been hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses.
When Can Taking Ivermectin Be Unsafe?
The FDA has not reviewed data to support use of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients to treat or to prevent COVID-19; however, some initial research is underway. Taking a drug for an unapproved use can be very dangerous. This is true of ivermectin, too.
There’s a lot of misinformation around, and you may have heard that it’s okay to take large doses of ivermectin. That is wrong.
Even the levels of ivermectin for approved uses can interact with other medications, like blood-thinners. You can also overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death.
Ivermectin Products for Animals Are Different from Ivermectin Products for People
… Moreover, FDA reviews drugs not just for safety and effectiveness of the active ingredients, but also for the inactive ingredients. Many inactive ingredients found in animal products aren’t evaluated for use in people. Or they are included in much greater quantity than those used in people. In some cases, we don’t know how those inactive ingredients will affect how ivermectin is absorbed in the human body. …

Fact check: Ivermectin is not a proven treatment for COVID-19 (08/14/2021) | @USATODAY
Ivermectin not proven to treat COVID-19
… Some limited studies have suggested ivermectin could help treat COVID-19. But other, more rigorous research has found little or no impact.
“The reason for the interest in ivermectin is that studies in the lab have shown it can block viruses from multiplying in experimental settings – i.e. in a petri dish – and so people hoped this would mean it could help treat COVID-19 in people too,” Dr. Denise McCulloch, an infectious disease specialist with the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, said in an email. “Unfortunately, the few high-quality studies that have been done to date do not demonstrate a beneficial effect of ivermectin when it is used in people with COVID-19.” …
A peer-reviewed meta-analysis of 15 trials, published in the July/August issue of the American Journal of Therapeutics, found that “large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin.” But experts told PolitiFact, an independent fact-checking outlet, that some of the trials the study included were not high-quality, and some of its authors were affiliated with a pro-ivermectin group. …
“To extrapolate from how much drug is needed to work in the test tube to how much is required to work in a human being against the virus makes these trials and all the meta-reviews published less than worthless – it’s dangerous,” Dr. Benhur Lee, a microbiology professor at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, said in an email. …
Officials say drug should ‘only be used within clinical trials’
… The FDA said in April 2020 that people should not take ivermectin unless it’s “prescribed to them by a licensed health care provider and is obtained through a legitimate source.” The agency reiterated that position in March. …
Our fact-check sources

Column: Major study of Ivermectin, the anti-vaccine crowd’s latest COVID drug, finds ‘no effect whatsoever’(08/11/2021) | @latimes
Coronavirus33 ivermectin @latimes
Ivermectin, the latest supposed treatment for COVID-19 being touted by anti-vaccination groups, had “no effect whatsoever” on the disease, according to a large patient study.
That’s the conclusion of the Together Trial… …Edward Mills of McMaster…
… Its repurposing as a COVID treatment began with a 2020 paper by Australian researchers who determined that at extremely high concentrations it showed some efficacy against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID, in the lab. But their research involved concentrations of the drug far beyond what could be achieved, much less tolerated, in the human body. …
Mills said that his team’s Ivermectin trial was altered after advocacy groups complained that it was too modest to achieve the results they expected. The trial originally tested the results from a single Ivermectin dose in January this year, but was later changed to involve one daily dose for three days of 400 micrograms of the drug for every kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of the patients’ weight, up to 90 kilograms. …

Flawed ivermectin preprint highlights challenges of COVID drug studies: The study’s withdrawal from a preprint platform deals a blow to the anti-parasite drug’s chances as a COVID treatment, researchers say. (02/08/2021) | @nature
… The paper summarized the results of a clinical trial seeming to show that ivermectin can reduce COVID-19 death rates by more than 90% – among the largest studies of the drug’s ability to treat COVID-19 to date. But on 14 July, after internet sleuths raised concerns about plagiarism and data manipulation, the preprint server Research Square withdrew the paper because of “ethical concerns”. …
Early in the pandemic, scientists showed that ivermectin could inhibit the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in cells in laboratory studies. But data on ivermectin’s efficacy against COVID-19 in people are still scarce, and study conclusions conflict greatly, making the withdrawal of a major trial particularly noteworthy. …
Ripple effects
…Few therapies can claim such an impressive reduction in death rates. “It was a significant difference, and that stood out,” says Andrew Hill, who studies repurposed drugs at the University of Liverpool, UK. …
One of the authors of the meta-analysis, statistician Andrew Bryant at Newcastle University, UK, says that his team corresponded with Elgazzar before publishing the work to clarify some data. “We had no reason to doubt the integrity of [Professor] Elgazzar,” he said in an e-mail. He added that in a pandemic setting, no one can reanalyse all of the raw data from patient records when writing a review. Bryant went on to say that his group will revise the conclusion if investigations find the study to be unreliable. However, even if the study is removed, the meta-analysis would still show that ivermectin causes a major reduction in deaths from COVID-19, he says. …
Reliable data needed
… Carlos Chaccour, a global-health researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain, says it has been difficult to conduct rigorous studies on ivermectin. That’s partly because funders and academics in wealthy countries haven’t supported them, and, he suspects, have often dismissed trials of ivermectin because most of them have been done in lower-income countries. Furthermore, says Rodrigo Zoni, a cardiologist at the Corrientes Cardiology Institute in Argentina, it is difficult to recruit participants because many people – particularly in Latin America – are already taking the widely available drug in an attempt to prevent COVID-19. …
Adding to the difficulty are conspiracy theories holding that ivermectin has been proven to work and that drug companies are depriving the public of a cheap cure. Chaccour says he has been called ‘genocidal’ for doing research on the drug rather than just endorsing it.
…Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, an epidemiologist at the University of Wollongong in Australia…It’s not yet possible to assess whether ivermectin works against COVID-19 because the data currently available are not of sufficiently high quality…
Chaccour and others studying ivermectin say that proof of whether the drug is effective against COVID-19 rests on a handful of large, ongoing studies, including a trial in Brazil with more than 3,500 participants. By the end of 2021, says Zoni, around 33,000 people will have participated in some kind of ivermectin trial. …

Ivermectin: why a potential COVID treatment isn’t recommended for use: The antiparasitic drug was thought to be a potential treatment for COVID-19, but there isn’t sufficient evidence to recommend its use, despite widespread support online. (22/04/2021) | @gavi
… In humans, ivermectin is currently prescribed in tablet form to treat certain roundworm infections that cause illnesses such as river blindness. It may also be applied as a cream to control the common inflammatory skin condition papulopustular rosacea.
But ivermectin is most commonly used for veterinary parasitic diseases, especially gastrointestinal worm infestations. Consequently, it is readily available and relatively inexpensive. …
… In early 2020, a paper was made public (before it was reviewed by other scientists) which showed ivermectin suppresses the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, under laboratory conditions. This was one of many studies over the past 50 years to show that the antiparisitic drug could also have antiviral uses.
There appear to be two key ways in which the drug could prevent coronavirus replication. First, it could prevent the virus from suppressing our cells’ natural antiviral responses. Second, it’s possible the drug prevents the “spike” protein on the surface of the virus from binding to the receptors that allow it to enter our cells. Along with the anti-inflammatory actions apparent from ivermectin’s efficacy in rosacea, these may point towards useful effects in a viral disease that causes significant inflammation. …
… A controversy subsequently blew up over an article by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, a group of doctors and researchers that lobbies for the use of ivermectin.
This article, summarising multiple small studies of the effects of ivermectin on COVID-19 patients, was provisionally accepted for publication in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology in January 2021 but then rejected and removed from the journal’s website in March. The journal’s editor stated that the standard of evidence in the paper was insufficient and that the authors were inappropriately promoting their own ivermectin-based treatment. …
… More studies are underway. A large, multicentre trial began in February to determine the effectiveness of ivermectin as well as metformin (an anti-diabetes medication) and fluvoxamine (an antidepressant) in preventing COVID-19 disease progression. …

Ivermectin to be investigated as a possible treatment for COVID-19 in Oxford’s PRINCIPLE trial (23/06/2021) | @UniofOxford
EMA advises against use of ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 outside randomised clinical trials (22/03/2021) | @EMA_News
Don’t use ivermectin to treat COVID, Coast health officials warn after one hospitalized (08/13/2021) | @sunherald

#Coronavirus #コロナウイルス Vol.32(vaccine side effects, etc. ワクチン副反応など)

All the below links are in English. Excerpts are on our own.


Global COVID-19 vaccine summary: Side effects | @mnt
Coronavirus32 vaccine-side-effects @mnt
Allergic reactions and anaphylaxis
Rarely, a person experiences an allergic reaction to one or more of the ingredients in a vaccine. They might develop hives or another type of skin rash, swelling, and respiratory symptoms.
A severe allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, and it involves low blood pressure, nausea, and difficulty breathing, among other symptoms.
Anaphylaxis is an extremely rare side effect of vaccination. According to the CDC, around 2-5 people per million, or fewer than 0.001% of people vaccinated in the U.S. have experienced anaphylaxis afterward.
Allergic reactions to mRNA vaccines have been of particular concern, as they contain a chemical, called polyethylene glycol (PEG), that has never been used in an approved vaccine before. PEG is in many drugs that have occasionally triggered anaphylaxis. In these vaccines, it coats the mRNA molecule and supports penetration into cells.
There are similar concerns about the Janssen vaccine, which contains polysorbate 80, a chemical that is structurally related to PEG.
A study of data about allergic reactions to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines noted that most people who experienced anaphylaxis afterward had a history of allergies and this particular severe reaction.
The data suggest that there is a very low risk of anaphylaxis as a result of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Regardless, the CDC recommends that vaccine administrators conduct prescreening for specific allergic reactions. These vaccines are safe for people with common allergies, such as to foods, pets, environmental elements, latex, and oral medications.
The CDC also recommends that anyone who has had an allergic reaction to one dose of a vaccine not receive a second dose of the same type of vaccine.
Frequency of side effects in women
Side effects appear to be more commonly reported in women than men. A study by CDC researchers shows that 78.7% of adverse event reports submitted during the first month of U.S. vaccination involved women.
Another study observed that females represented 15 out of 16 people with anaphylaxis after a vaccine.
These findings are in line with a 2013 study on the H1N1 vaccine during the 2009 flu pandemic, which found higher rates of hypersensitivity reactions among females of childbearing age than other groups in the study population.
Reproductive hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, may play a role in this sex discrepancy. A study in mice suggests that estrogen causes the body to generate more antibodies, leading to a higher immune response.
Potential side effects per vaccine
Recently, there have been new concerns about serious side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.
These effects may be coincidental, and there is currently not enough conclusive evidence to link these effects to specific vaccines. However, regulatory agencies are taking precautionary measures to investigate these safety concerns.
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are both two-dose mRNA vaccines. People have reported similar, common side effects after the second doses of each.
These COVID-19 vaccines are the first vaccines approved for use in humans that incorporate mRNA technology. As a result, there are concerns about the long-term effects and a risk of altering the body’s genetic information.
People may be unaware that researchers have spent many years studying the potential of mRNA vaccine technology. There have been efforts to develop mRNA vaccines in the past, including Moderna’s human-based trial of an mRNA Zika virus vaccine.
Furthermore, it is unlikely that an mRNA vaccine can alter genetic information. The mRNA in a vaccine does not enter the nucleus of a cell, where DNA is stored, and it degrades rather quickly in the body after it serves its purpose.
Yet many were alarmed by reports from Norway that 23 people had died shortly after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. However, there is no evidence that these deaths were a direct result of the vaccine.
“There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions – that are not dangerous in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines -may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly,” suggests Dr. Steinar Madsen, the medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency.
“We are now asking for doctors to continue with the vaccination, but to carry out extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it,” he adds.
Another death, which occurred in the U.S., was associated with having a low blood platelet count, or thrombocytopenia. So far, 20 thrombocytopenia cases have developed following either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccination. Currently, however, no causal evidence links these cases with the vaccines.
Other concerns involve pregnancy and fertility. According to a February 2021 statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine:
“While fertility was not specifically studied in the clinical trials of the vaccine, no loss of fertility has been reported among trial participants or among the millions who have received the vaccines since their authorization, and no signs of infertility appeared in animal studies. Loss of fertility is scientifically unlikely.”…
In the patient fact sheets, the FDA states that, for people who experienced myocarditis or pericarditis after their vaccine, “symptoms began within a few days following receipt of the second dose” of an mRNA vaccine.
However, the federal agency also adds …

COVID-19: Vaccine safety and side effects | @GovCanHealth
Allergic reactions
There’s a small chance of a serious allergic reaction to a vaccine, called anaphylaxis. It usually happens shortly after a person receives the vaccine and is treatable.
Your health care provider will ask you to stay at the clinic for at least 15 minutes after vaccination. This is so they can watch for abnormal or very rare reactions (like anaphylaxis) and treat them quickly. Vaccination sites should have a supply of epinephrine to use in case you have an allergic reaction.
Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:
・itchy rash
・swelling of the: lips, face, airway, tongue
・increased heart rate
・loss of consciousness
・sudden low blood pressure
・abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea
・sneezing, coughing and difficulty breathing

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: What you should know | @GovCanHealth
Medicinal ingredient
Non-medicinal ingredients
・ALC-0315 = ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
・ALC-0159 = 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
・dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
・monobasic potassium phosphate
・potassium chloride
・sodium chloride
・water for injection

How it works
mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response without using the live virus that causes COVID-19. Once triggered, our body then makes antibodies. These antibodies help us fight the infection if the real virus does enter our body in the future.
‘RNA’ stands for ribonucleic acid, which is a molecule that provides cells with instructions for making proteins. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines contain the genetic instructions for making the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.
When a person is given the vaccine, their cells will read the genetic instructions like a recipe and produce the spike protein. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.
The cell then displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune system recognizes that the protein doesn’t belong there and begins building an immune response and making antibodies.
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine: What you should know | @GovCanHealth
Medicinal ingredient
Non-medicinal ingredients
・1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC)
・acetic acid
・lipid SM-102
・polyethylene glycol (PEG) 2000 DMG
・sodium acetate
・tromethamine hydrochloride
・water for injection
How it works
mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response without using the live virus that causes COVID-19. Once triggered, our body then makes antibodies. These antibodies help us fight the infection if the real virus does enter our body in the future.
‘RNA’ stands for ribonucleic acid, which is a molecule that provides cells with instructions for making proteins. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines contain the genetic instructions for making the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.
When a person is given the vaccine, their cells will read the genetic instructions like a recipe and produce the spike protein. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.
The cell then displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune system recognizes that the protein doesn’t belong there and begins building an immune response and making antibodies.

COVID-19 Vaccination Aftercare (PDF) | @CDCofBC
Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? | @HopkinsMedicine

COVID-19 vaccines: Get the facts | @MayoClinic
What COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized and how do they work?
… Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA). Coronaviruses have a spikelike structure on their surface called an S protein. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give cells instructions for how to make a harmless piece of an S protein. After vaccination, your cells begin making the protein pieces and displaying them on cell surfaces. Your immune system will recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies.
The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is a vector vaccine. In this type of vaccine, genetic material from the COVID-19 virus is inserted into a different kind of weakened live virus, such as an adenovirus. When the weakened virus (viral vector) gets into your cells, it delivers genetic material from the COVID-19 virus that gives your cells instructions to make copies of the S protein. Once your cells display the S proteins on their surfaces, your immune system responds by creating antibodies and defensive white blood cells. If you become infected with the COVID-19 virus, the antibodies will fight the virus.
Viral vector vaccines can’t cause you to become infected with the COVID-19 virus or the viral vector virus. Also, the genetic material that’s delivered doesn’t become part of your DNA.
What are the possible general side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine?
A COVID-19 vaccine can cause mild side effects after the first or second dose, including:
・Pain, redness or swelling where the shot was given
・Muscle pain
・Joint pain
・Nausea and vomiting
・Feeling unwell
・Swollen lymph nodes
You’ll likely be monitored for 15 minutes after getting a COVID-19 vaccine to see if you have an immediate reaction. Most side effects go away in a few days. Side effects after the second dose might be more intense. Some people have no side effects.
A COVID-19 vaccine may cause side effects similar to signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and you develop symptoms more than three days after getting vaccinated or the symptoms last more than two days, self-isolate and get tested.
What are the signs of an allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine?
You might be having an allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine if you experience these signs within four hours of getting vaccinated:
・Swelling of the lips, eyes or tongue
If you have any signs of an allergic reaction, get help right away. Tell your doctor about your reaction, even if it went away on its own or you didn’t get emergency care. This reaction might mean you are allergic to the vaccine. You might not be able to get a second dose of the same vaccine. However, you might be able to get a different vaccine for your second dose.

COVID-19: Vaccine side effects and reactions | @minhealthnz
Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine | @CDCgov
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines side effects and safety | @NHS
Package leaflet: Information for the recipient – COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 concentrate for solution for injection (PDF) | @BioNTech,@Pfizer GOV.UK
COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects Symptom Checker | @healthdirectAU
COVID-19 SIDE-EFFECTS | @nicd_sa
Here’s what we know about the risks of serious side effects from COVID-19 vaccines (06/01/2021) | @ScienceNews
COVID-19 vaccine side effects: What’s normal and what to look out for (06/30/2021) | @CNET
Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccines | @WHO
COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects | @yalehealth
Side-effects | @rivm

#Coronavirus #コロナウイルス Vol.31(Lambda variant, etc. ラムダ変異株など)

All the below links are in English. Excerpts are on our own.


The unusual Lambda variant is rapidly spreading in South America. Here’s what we know. (07/14/2021) | @natgeo
… “Why Chile is getting such high infection rates is perplexing, and it’s likely due to several factors. Because of their high vaccination coverage, the restrictions were relaxed a little too soon, and that could have led to [a] rise in cases,” says Pablo Tsukayama, a microbiologist at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. It was Tsukayama who first spotted the Lambda variant after routinely sequencing the samples deposited between January and March 2021. “But it is also possible that the main variants in circulation, Gamma and Lambda, have some immune escape properties that lead to reduced protection from vaccines.” …
While Latin America has only eight percent of the world’s population, it makes up more than 20 percent of global coronavirus cases and 32 percent of COVID-19 deaths worldwide. …
What has changed in Lambda?
The Lambda variant is very unusual because of the way its spike protein is altered compared to other variants. It has mutations at 14 positions including a long stretch of seven amino acids which has been deleted from a region of the spike protein called the N-terminal domain or NTD. Beyond these, Lambda also has mutations in the ORF1ab gene that are found in other variants of concern: Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. …
The seven amino acids deleted from the NTD belong to an NTD supersite where the spike is attacked by many of the body’s potent antibodies. Many variants, including Alpha, Beta, and Gamma also harbor mutations within this zone, suggesting that this region is important for the evolution of the virus. “NTD is not crucial for carrying out important functions of the virus and thus, it is easy for the virus to mutate and still remain viable, so as to evade the existing antibody response,” …
Among other mutations of Lambda is a unique one at location 452 which is also mutated in other highly transmissive variants: Delta, Delta Plus, Epsilon, and Kappa. While Lambda’s L452Q mutation has never been seen before in a variant, scientists predict that mutations at the 452 position boost the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect a cell.
The 452 position occurs in the part of the spike protein that interacts directly with the ACE2 receptor protein found on the lung and other human cells, and that interaction allows it to enter the body. “The 452 position is recognized by many neutralizing antibodies. Mutations at this site could result in decreased binding and thus less protection by certain vaccines in certain people, those with marginal responses to start with,” says Michael Diamond, an immunologist at Washington University School of Medicine. …

Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants | @WHO
Coronavirus30 Lambda-VOI @WHO







Here’s what you need to know about the lambda Covid variant (07/09/2021) | @CNBC
Coronavirus30 Lambda @CNBC







The 3 Simple Rules That Underscore the Danger of Delta (07/01/2021) | @TheAtlantic
SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions | @CDCgov
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants identified in UK (16/07/2021) | GOV.UK
SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England (PDF; 25/06/2021) | Public Health England

Λ!!: A New Threat On The Rise In South America (07/16/2021) | @Forbes
COVID-19: The ‘unusual’ new variant that may be more infectious than Delta (07/05/2021) | @SkyNews
From transmissibility to severity: Everything you need to know about the lambda variant (13/07/2021) | @weforum
Lambda variant in Canada: where is it and will it become a variant of concern? (07/13/2021) | @CTVNews
Covid’s Lambda Variant: Worth Watching, but No Cause for Alarm (07/08/2021) | @nytimes
Lambda variant: What is it, what are the symptoms and is it in Ireland? (0707/2021) | @IrishMirror
Lambda coronavirus variant (07/07/2021) | @CSIRO
Coronavirus: New COVID-19 ‘Lambda’ variant has ‘unusual set of mutations’, appears to be more infectious than Delta (06/07/2021) | @NewshubNZ

U.K. イギリス Vol.36 / #Coronavirus #コロナウイルス Vol.30「英首相、ロックダウン解除予定を発表」

e-論壇 議論百出,GFJ (2021-07-11 21:02) ご掲載頂きました。

 ボリス・ジョンソン英首相は、7月5日、コロナウイルスに関するイングランドでの法的制限(ロックダウン)を19日に解除する予定であることを発表し、質疑応答も行った。英国Chief Scientific Adviser及びイングランドChief Medical Officerが同席し、質疑応答も含めて補足説明等した。12日に最終決定される。アメリカほか各国でも大きく報じられた。

解除内容、背景など *1(首相説明時点)
 イングランドで解除されるのは、マスク着用義務、集会人数制限、ナイトクラブ等営業停止、対人距離1メートル超維持、企業リモートワーク労働態勢義務などである。ウェールズ・スコットランド・北アイルランドではそれぞれの手順で同様の方向に進められる *2 旨も報じられている。英国の人口は6600万人、イングランドは5600万人、そして、ウェールズ310万人、スコットランド550万人、北アイルランド190万人。

 見逃せないのは、首相は以前「打ち負かすべき敵」としていたが、今回この解除予定発表のタイミングで「ウイルスと共に生きて行く」と発言している *3 点である。そして、コロナ禍が過ぎ去ったと言うにはほど遠いとも言い、私自身はマスク着用を続けるとも繰り返している。*4
 与党保守党は歓迎の意向である一方、野党第一党労働党は無謀であると批判し、また、賛否それぞれの医師も居り *5、意見も出ている *6*7*8。この状況自体は毎度予想される範囲内のものであり目新しさは無い。ごく普通の庶民・大衆は実際どのように感じているかが今回非常に気になるが、12日以降や19日以降、そして今後の生活の中で個別具体的に出て来る、まだまだ先の長い話である。


北米欧州豪NZ情報分析者/ワールドソルーションズLLC代表  中港 拓


#Coronavirus #コロナウイルス Vol.29(Delta variant, etc. デルタ変異株など)

All the below links are in English. Excerpts are on our own.


Youth, Delta variant behind UK COVID surge (06/17/2021) | @CIDRAP
… In total, 135 of 108,911 swabs tested positive for COVID-19, for a weighted prevalence of 0.15%, up from 0.10% of swabs collected from Apr 15 to May 3. Northwest England had the highest prevalence (0.26%), while the country’s southwest region had the lowest (0.05%). Residents of socioeconomically disadvantaged areas were at nearly double the risk of testing positive, compared with those in less-deprived areas.
Young people are behind the surge, with a 5-fold higher rate of COVID-19 test positivity among children 5 to 12 years (0.35% prevalence) and adults 18 to 24 (0.36% prevalence) than in those 65 or older. People younger than 50 were 2.5 times more likely to be infected than older people (prevalence, 0.20% vs 0.08%), although the researchers noted that infections seem to be growing at a comparable rate in both age-groups. …
In early February, the link between COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations started to lessen, apparently due to vaccinations, only to reemerge in late April. When the researchers stratified data by age, however, they found that those 65 and older still had a lower association between infections and hospital admissions.
“We can take a lot of comfort in the fact that there does appear to be very good protection in the older age groups, where virtually everyone has been doubly vaccinated,” senior study author Paul Elliott…
… Delta has become dominant in the country, rising from 60% of positive COVID-19 tests at the beginning of the study to 90% by the end. …
… it’s very difficult to predict the duration of the exponential phase,” lead author Steven Riley… noting that extending coronavirus vaccination to younger people in the next month should slow the surge. …
… Riley adds, “Even though we are seeing the highest infection prevalence in younger people who are less susceptible to COVID-19, if this growth continues it will drive up infections in older, more vulnerable people, as the vaccines are not 100% effective and not everyone has been fully vaccinated. This would lead to more hospitalisations and deaths, and risks straining the NHS …
… a team led by University of Oxford researchers evaluated whether vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, or antibodies derived from COVID-19 survivors could neutralize the Delta variant’s B1617.1 and B1617.2 sublineages.
The researchers found substantial reductions in the ability of the AstraZeneca/Oxford and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to inactivate the Delta variant, although the viruses weren’t broadly able to escape neutralization.
The ability of the Pfizer vaccine to neutralize the Delta variant dropped 1.34-fold between 4 and 10 weeks after the first dose, at which time the ability was nearly lost. “Recently in the UK some reduction in Pfizer-BioNTech effectiveness has been detected at 10 weeks, presumably as a result of waning immunity, leading to the recommendation that the second vaccine dose interval should be reduced from 12 to 8 weeks in those over age 50,” the authors said.
The researchers noted previous studies that found lower vaccine effectiveness against mild to moderate COVID-19 in countries in which Beta (B1351) was dominant, as well as against the Alpha (B117) variant first seen in England, although protection against severe illness was maintained.
Overall, convalescent sera was 4-fold less effective against B1617.1 and 2.7-fold less effective against B1617.2 than against an early strain from Wuhan, China. Still, convalescent sera containing antibodies against the Beta variant first seen in South Africa and the Gamma (P1) variant first identified in Brazil were the least able to inactivate Delta.
Data showed that the Delta variant’s affinity for ACE-2 was slightly enhanced compared with that of the Wuhan strain as well.
“Individuals previously infected by these variants may be more susceptible to reinfection by B.1.617.2,”…
The authors said that the true number of SARS-CoV-2 variants probably has been underestimated and that more variants of concern will continue to emerge. …
…”As the population develops immunity, by either natural infection or vaccination, pressure is mounting to select mutations that allow the virus to more effectively find an infectible host through increased transmissibility, or to evade the acquired immune response and cause reinfection.”…

UK Covid infections rise as Delta variant dominates (18/06/2021) | @BBCNews
… a single dose of vaccine reduces a person’s chances of catching coronavirus and needing hospital treatment by about 75%, even with Delta circulating in the UK.
And among people who had received the recommended two doses, the chances of catching and being hospitalised by coronavirus was reduced by more than 90%.
Of 806 people infected with the Delta variant who ended up hospital in England between 1 February and 14 June 2021:
527 (65%) people were unvaccinated
135 (17%) were more than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine
84 (10%) were more than 14 days after their second dose
As of 14 June, there have been 73 deaths in England of people who were confirmed as having the Delta variant and who died within 28 days of a positive test, and of these:
34 (47%) were unvaccinated
10 (14%) were more than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine
26 (36%) were more than 14 days after their second dose

Experts call for more sequencing after new ‘Delta plus’ variant identified (16/06/2021) | @Independent
… Referred to variously as the “Nepal variant”, the “Delta plus” variant or Delta AY.1, early data show this new lineage (B.1.617.2.1) allows the Covid virus to better resist antibody therapy treatments because it includes the K417N mutation – first found in the Beta variant that emerged in South Africa. …
From the data submitted by various labs across the world, we know the variant has been seen in Canada, Germany, Russia, Nepal, Switzerland, India, Poland, Portugal, Japan and the US. …
…the emergence of “Delta plus” and other new variants showed the need for regular genome sequencing to keep track of how the Covid virus is progressing.
He said the variant was “not a major concern immediately”. …

Five things we know about the Delta variant (and two things we don’t) (15/06/2021) | @gavi
Two weeks after receiving a second dose, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine appeared to provide 79% protection against infection with the Delta variant, compared with 92% protection against the Alpha variant…
…the number one symptom reported by app users with a confirmed infection has been headache, followed by sore throat, a runny nose, and fever. “Cough is rarer and we don’t even see loss of smell coming up in the top ten anymore…

About Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19? | @CDCgov
Coronavirus Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID19​​ @CDCgov




“Delta plus’ variant may trigger third COVID-19 wave in Maharashtra: Health dept (06/18/2021) | @EconomicTimes
New case of Delta Plus Covid variant detected in Bhopal (06/17/2021) | @EconomicTimes
Cause for worry’: Expert weighs in on immune escape potential of Delta plus Covid variant (06/17/2021) | @htTweets
Delta Variant Makes Up Nearly All New U.K. Coronavirus Cases (06/18/2021) | @usnews
Delta Variant Drives Huge COVID Spike in U.K. (06/17/2021) | @WebMD
WHO says delta Covid variant has now spread to 80 countries and it keeps mutating (06/16/2021) | @CNBC

What are the India, Brazil, South Africa and UK variants? (06/06/2021) | @BBCNews
… There are a few “India” variants, but one called B.1.617.2 appears to be spreading more quickly in the UK.
Surge testing is being deployed in some areas, including Bolton and Blackburn, to identify infections – but it may not be stopping the spread.
Second jabs for all over-50s (and the clinically vulnerable) in England are now being brought forward to protect more people, faster. Second doses will come eight weeks after the first, rather than 11-12 weeks.
Latest research suggests the Pfizer and AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines are highly effective against the variant after two doses, but protection from one dose appears to be reduced. …
Coronavirus What are the India, Brazil, South Africa and UK variants @BBC






Covid-19 news: 99% of UK cases thought to be due to delta variant (06/18/2021) | @NewScientist
Covid variants: latest on the Indian, UK, South African and Brazilian variants (18/06/2021) | @TheBHF
Covid: Delta variant cases in the UK soar by 78% in one week (18/06/2021) | @Independent
COVID-19: Almost all of UK’s coronavirus cases are Delta as variant infections rise by more than 33,000 in a week (18/06/2021) | @SkyNews
Delta Variant Cases Soar in U.K. With More People Hospitalized (06/18/2021) | @bpolitics

#Coronavirus #コロナウイルス Vol.28

All the below tweets are in English.

mixing-increases-side-effects @soutikBBC

Pfizer-Covid-jab-produces-less-antibodies-against-Delta-variant @htTweets,@TheLancet

#Coronavirus #コロナウイルス Vol.27(Lineage B.1.617 インド型変異株)

All the below links and excerpts are in English.


Coronavirus Variants and Mutations (04/26/2021) | @nytimes
Coronavirus Variants-Mutations @nytimes







The COVID variant from India: What we know so far (27/04/2021) | @dwnews
… It’s too early to say whether the new variant of the virus, B.1.617, is responsible for the rapid increase in infections, but it is being treated as a possible cause.
What role do virus variants play?
In many other cases and countries, new variants have played a role when infections jumped.
Some experts are also concerned that the Indian variant may be turning into a type of “super mutation” that will continue to spread across the world. …
Why could the Indian variant become dangerous?
The Indian variant consists of two mutations on the spike protein of the virus.
A spike protein allows a virus to enter the body and infect it. The virus can then spread quickly through the body, if it escapes any antibodies in the immune system or those developed as a result of a vaccine – or, indeed, if there aren’t any antibodies.
Experts say there is a risk that people who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection, or those who have been vaccinated, may not be as resilient against this new variant as they may be against other forms of the virus.
What’s special about the Indian variant?
The mutations found in the Indian variant are identified as E484Q and L452 and are not entirely new. E484Q is similar to E484K – a mutation seen in the South African variant, B.1.353, and in the Brazilian variant, P1.
In some cases, the Indian mutations were detected in the British variant, B.1.1.7.
L452R is detected in a Californian variant of the virus, B.1.429. The same was found in a variant in Germany.
Of interest or of concern?
… Dr Jeffrey Barrett, director of the COVID-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK, has commented that the Indian variant has spread at such low levels over the past few months, and that makes it “likely not to be as transmissible as B.1.1.7.”

Researchers are investigating if a COVID-19 with multiple mutations found in India is more deadly and resistant to existing vaccines (04/23/2021) | @businessinsider
… The Times of India spoke to Vinod Scaria, a researcher at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in India, who said the triple-mutant was also an “immune escape variant” – a strain that helps the virus attach to human cells and hide from the immune system. …
… Sreedhar Chinnaswamy, a researcher from the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in India, told the Times of India that the variant also carried the E484K mutation, a characteristic found in the variants first identified in South Africa and Brazil.
“In other words, you may not be safe from this variant even if you were previously infected by another strain, or even if you have been vaccinated,” Chinnaswamy said.
Paul Tambyah, a professor of medicine at the National University of Singapore, said the good news is that there is no concrete evidence that the triple mutation is deadlier or more transmissible. …
“There is good data suggesting that the immune system, not just antibodies, can respond to multiple different mutants,” Tambyah said.
But this new threat is still worrying, as India’s healthcare system has already reached a breaking point as it grapples with the second wave of COVID cases. …

What’s the new coronavirus variant in India and how should it change their COVID-19 response? (06/04/2021) | @down2earthindia
… In 15-20 per cent of samples from the Indian state of Maharashtra (the state accounting for 62 per cent of cases in the country) a new, double mutation in key areas of the virus has been detected. These are now known as the E484Q and L452R mutations.
What makes the variant different?
… Given what we have seen with other similar mutations, it might also make it harder for our immune system to recognise the virus due to its slightly different shape. This means our immune system may not be able to recognise the virus as something it has to produce antibodies against.
… Mutations can result in 20 per cent more in-hospital deaths, as we witnessed during the second wave in South Africa. …

India’s ‘double mutation’ covid virus variant is worrying the world (19/04/2021) | @livemint
… The new variant, called B.1.617, was initially detected in India with two mutations — the E484Q and L452R. …
… Some mutations weaken the virus while others may make it stronger, enabling it to proliferate faster or cause more infections. …
… Aparna Mukherjee, a scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research …
… In some districts in Maharashtra state — home to Mumbai and epicenter of the current wave that’s triggered fresh lockdown-like rules — the prevalence of this variant was more than 60%, according to Anurag Agrawal, director of the state-run Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s genomics institute that’s conducting sequencing. …
… Both mutations are known to decrease — although not completely eliminate — the binding of the antibodies created by infection and vaccination, according to Jesse Bloom, an associate professor for genome sciences and microbiology at the University of Washington.
“Mutations at sites E484 and L452 have been observed separately, but this is the first major viral lineage that combines the two,” …
… Rakesh Mishra, the Hyderabad-based director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology …
… William A. Haseltine, a former professor at Harvard Medical School …

Coronavirus: ‘Double mutant’ Covid variant found in India (25/03/2021) | @BBCNewsAsia
… The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG), a group of 10 national laboratories under India’s health ministry …
Are double mutants a worry?
… But if the virus can use reinfection to spread, then it would be “penetrating” herd immunity, says Dr Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport. (Herd immunity happens when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease through vaccination or through the mass spread of the disease.) …

Q+A: Indian coronavirus variant – what is it and what effect will it have? (04/21/2021) | @ConversationEDU
Is this variant more infectious?
We think this variant may be able to spread more easily than earlier forms of the virus. This is because of a mutation it carries called L452R, which affects the virus’s spike protein. This is the “key” the coronavirus uses to unlock our cells.
The L452R mutation changes the part of the spike protein that directly interacts with ACE2, the molecule on the surface of our cells that the virus binds with to get inside. Early research – yet to be reviewed by other scientists – suggests the L452R mutation allows the virus to bind to cells more stably. In previous variants, such as the Kent variant, mutations like this that enhanced the virus’s binding ability resulted in it becoming more infectious.
The B1427 variant detected in California contains the same L452R mutation a B1617. It is estimated to be around 20% more transmissible than the earlier form of the coronavirus that was circulating during the first wave.
And is it more dangerous?
Mutations such as L452R that help with binding don’t necessarily result in more severe disease or make the virus more deadly. …
… Indeed, preliminary studies suggest the L452R mutation could help the virus evade the immune system. On top of this, B1617 carries a second mutation, called E484Q, that changes the spike protein as well. Research suggests that mutations like it (that affect the same area of the spike protein) may also make the virus less susceptible to pre-existing antibodies. …

COVID-19: Indian double mutation variant arrives in Britain and has ‘hallmarks of very dangerous virus’ (19/04/2021) | @SkyNews
… The variant – officially named B.1.617 – is almost certainly playing a part in the very sharp spike in the epidemic in India.
… One of the concerning mutations, called L452R, is also found in a variant circulating in California, though there is no link between the viruses. The Indian variant has evolved independently.
The other mutation in the virus is completely new. It is at the same ‘484’ position in the spike protein that is also mutated in the South African variant, and some others. But the actual mutation – E484Q – is slightly different.
Lab tests show both mutations help the virus to infect human cells and evade some antibodies.
The combination – called a double mutant – is a particular concern.
As yet it is unknown what impact they would have on the effectiveness of the existing vaccines. …

First case of ‘double mutant’ COVID-19 variant confirmed in Quebec (04/22/2021) | @CTVNews
… It’s known as the “double mutant” because it contains two distinct mutations of the original COVID-19 virus. Each of those mutations has been seen in other variants, separately, but this variant has both at once. …

India’s COVID-19 Variant: What We Know So Far – Not yet clear how much the current surge is driven by this new variant (04/29/2021) | @medpagetoday
Why “Double Mutant”?
Its official name is B.1.617, and the “double mutant” is a bit of a misnomer, because it actually carries 13 mutations, 7 of which are in the spike protein. But the moniker comes from two notable mutations found in other variants that appeared together for the first time in this new strain: the L452R mutation and the E484Q mutation.
The L452R mutation in the spike protein was first found in the COVID-19 variant detected in California. One study found that the California variant carrying this mutation may be up to 20% more transmissible than wild-type strains.
The E484Q mutation is notable because it appears to be very similar to the E484K mutations found in the B.1.351 (South African) and P.1 (Brazilian) variants. The E484K mutation in these variants is considered an “escape mutation” because it enables SARS-CoV-2 to evade immune protection with monoclonal antibodies, which may decrease the effectiveness of vaccines. So far, though, current vaccines appear to be holding up against these variants, according to Jetelina.
Why Is the ‘India’ Variant Important?
… Back in December 2020, 271 million people (about one-fifth of India’s population) were already infected with COVID-19. Modelling studies suggested that India may have already reached herd immunity through natural infection. India’s health minister announced that the country had successfully contained the spread of the virus. …
Implications for Pandemic Control
… Preliminary evidence so far suggests that the Covaxin vaccine is still protective against the double mutant variant. Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine that contains killed coronavirus material and is made in India. Scientists in India have also reported that Covishield, which uses the same biotechnology as the AstraZeneca vaccine, has efficacy against the mutant.
… “The more this virus jumps from person-to-person (regardless of where it’s at in the globe), the more chances it has to mutate,” she wrote. “The more it mutates, the more chances it has to outsmart our vaccines.”

The Recent Rise of Indian Covid-19 Cases Display The Dangers Of SARS-CoV-2 Variants (04/23/2021) | @Forbes
… In addition to the B.1.617, which I described in detail in a previous article, a number of strains with additional mutations are also circulating that are currently less prevalent, but still cause for concern. These mutations, which are heavily concentrated in the N-terminal and receptor-binding domains of the spike protein, likely make their respective variants more resistant to convalescent sera and vaccine-administered antibodies.
Among these mutations is W152L, located in the N-terminal domain, which is thought to be a neutralizing antibody binding site due to its high antigenicity. Mutations to this area could reduce neutralization capability and make the virus more resistant to convalescent sera and vaccines. Another mutation, V382L, is also located in the receptor-binding domain. …
Further mutations found in India include N450K, which is also found in the Belgian B.1.214 variant; S477N, which is also seen in the New York B.1.526 variant; and a series of others, all heavily concentrated in the receptor-binding domain. Mutations to this region affect both binding to human ACE2 receptors and potential resistance to neutralization. …

Science Brief: Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants (Updated 01/28/2021) | @CDCgov
India’s massive COVID surge puzzles scientists – The virus is spreading faster than ever before in India despite previous high infection rates in megacities, which should have conferred some protection. (21/04/2021) | @nature