Delaying the second COVID vaccine dose - a medical expert answers key questions

Delaying the second COVID vaccine dose - a medical expert answers key questions

Britain's government will require people entering England to present a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival starting next week to protect against new strains of the coronavirus from other countries, the government said on Friday.

Scientists are hard at work testing out whether mutations found in new variants of the coronavirus could bypass the immunity offered by now developed vaccines.

However, the study carried out in collaboration with scientists at the University of Texas, has not been peer-reviewed yet.

In the study, scientists engineered a version of the virus to include the mutation called N501Y. The same is true of the South African variant, although they are eight different mutations.

Evidence from clinical trials shows the vaccine was 94 percent effective at preventing lab-confirmed Covid-19 in people who were given two doses and no history of the infection. Its findings are limited because it does not look at the full set of mutations found in either of the new variants of the rapidly spreading virus.

Concerns have also emerged regarding the relatively new approach used by some of the vaccine researchers.

"There is a limit to the number of mutations the virus can accumulate and still be able to bind to the (human cell) receptor".

Ms Stratton said: "We all know the character of the prime minister, I don't think it would be something that he would rule out".

Other factors, such as the potential risk of adverse incidents, and the severity of the health crisis, are also considered, Mr Gan told Parliament. This could help explain why variants with the mutation seem to be more transmissible.

Freeport Area School District students to return to classroom
Regional School Unit 74 superintendent changes two half-days for students - scheduled for January 27 and March 10 - to full days. Prior to their return to classrooms, students will engage in orientation weeks for "safety and classroom protocols orientation".

It expects delivery of 3.8 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine in January and February 2021, and plans to begin inoculations in February.

The province says that so far, 6,015 doses of vaccine have been administered.

Also Friday, Britain authorized the vaccine developed by Moderna, the third to be licensed for use in the country. Scientists have anxious that the mutation could change the structure of the virus enough to allow it to "escape" detection from the immune system of survivors or vaccinated people. For the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the second dose would usually follow the first after 28 days or more.

A major advantage of the AstraZeneca vaccine over the American-German Pfizer or American Moderna vaccine is the storage conditions.

"This is good news, mainly because it is not bad news", said Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

If anything, a mutation might reduce how well vaccines work, not render them ineffective entirely, experts stress.

He says the province could see more "extreme" measures put in place if residents ignore public heath rules aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. The R refers to the number of people an infected person will pass the virus onto.

Traditional vaccines train the immune system to respond differently by introducing a dead (attenuated) virus into the body.

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