A new study of the U.K. and South Africa variants of SARS-CoV-2 predicts that current vaccines and certain monoclonal antibodies may be less effective at neutralizing these variants and that the new variants raise the specter that reinfections could be more likely.
The study was published in Nature on March 8, 2021. A preprint of the study was first posted to BioRxiv on January 26, 2021.
David Ho (Credit: Columbia University Irving Medical Center)
The study’s predictions are now being borne out with the first reported results of the Novavax vaccine, says the study’s lead author David Ho, MD. The company reported on Jan. 28 that the vaccine was nearly 90% effective in the company’s U.K. trial, but only 49.4% effective in its South Africa trial, where most cases of COVID-19 are caused by the B.1.351 variant.
“Our study and the new clinical trial data show that the virus is traveling in a direction that is causing it to escape from our current vaccines and therapies that are…