COVID-19 vaccines less effective against Delta variant: WHO official

Geneva: A WHO official said on Monday (June 21) that COVID-19 vaccines are less effective against the Delta coronavirus variant, which was first detected in India. However, Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization`s technical lead for COVID-19, admitted that the vaccines still prevent severe disease and death.

“There is a recent study that came out in The Lancet … that looked at the reduced titer neutralization from the alpha, beta, gamma, and delta variants showing a reduction in neutralization on the delta variant. Not as much as the beta variant, which is the variant that was first detected in South Africa … Having said that, these vaccines are still highly effective. They produce enough antibodies to protect against severe disease and death,” Van Kerkhove said at a press briefing.

The WHO expert added that the “constellation of mutations” in coronavirus variants could lead to vaccines becoming ineffective.

“There may be a time when we have a constellation of mutations that arise in a variant where our vaccines actually lose their potency, and that`s what we want to make sure we prevent,” Van Kerkhove said as quoted by news agency ANI.

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