In news : A mutation of the Covid-19 virus(501Y.V2) which is more transmissible was discovered in South Africa and announced in December 2020.
What is South Africa Coronavirus Variant?
- In South Africa, another variant of SARS-CoV-2 (known as 20H/501Y.V2 or B.1.351) emerged independently of B.1.1.7.
- This variant shares some mutations with B.1.1.7(of the UK).
- Cases attributed to this variant have been detected in multiple countries outside of South Africa
Other covid-19 variants
- The United Kingdom (UK): A new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (known as 20I/501Y.V1, VOC 202012/01, or B.1.1.7) emerged with a large number of mutations. It is associated with with an increased risk of death compared with other variants
- Brazil: It is a variant of SARS-CoV-2 (known as P.1) that was first identified in four travelers from Brazil. This variant has 17 unique mutations, including three in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein.
Can Covaxin, Covishield prevent new variants of Covid-19?
- Bharat Biotech, in a pre-print study, claimed that Covaxin has the capacity of eliciting an immune response against the UK variant.
- However, Bharat Biotech has not released any details regarding Covaxin’s effectiveness against the South African variant
- As per the South African government, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, on which Covishield is based, has ‘limited’ efficacy against the South African variant.