The markets do not have a second of tranquility. At least as far as Covid-19 it means. Although in recent weeks investors' spirits have been somewhat calmer due to advances with vaccine, what happened in Denmark, where a virus mutation, has unleashed new fears. What if vaccines in development are not really worth it?
Denmark has confirmed that they have found more than 200 people infected with a new strain of coronavirus related to mink, which is why it has decided to cull the 15 million minks that are on Danish farms. The problem is not that, but the Executive of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has affirmed that this mutation could allow the virus to evade the vaccines that various pharmaceutical companies are currently preparing.
As it is, the World Health Organization (WHO) has already got down to work. It is true that he did not want to 'get too wet', saying that "It is still too early to understand the new variant of Covid" discovered in the European country, but has also said that it is already analyzing the situation to determine how this may affect the efficacy of the vaccine.
Specifically, Dr. Maria van Kerkhove, head of the WHO's emerging diseases unit, said that "each of these changes, each of these mutations, whether they are identified in mink or identified in humans They need to be evaluated because we need to determine the importance of each of them. And if any of these changes means that the virus behaves differently. "
The objective that the WHO has set is to verify "if there is any change in transmissibility or gravity and if there is some implication for the diagnosis and administration of vaccines", and that" is ongoing right now, "according to Van Kerkhove.
DO YOU NEED TO WORRY?
What many wonder after this is whether or not there is to worry. At the moment little is known about it, and this is revealed by analysts at Shore Capital in one of their latest reports. "We will have to wait and see what the new strain looks like and why the Danish authorities are apparently concerned that it may be able to evade vaccines. However, so far, there is no proof," they note.
These experts say that although theoretically "it could be the case that this variant is capable of evading some vaccines in development", it is more likely that "mutations that can escape the immunity induced by the vaccine once the vaccines are deployed" appear. . What's more, they assure that is "very, very unlikely that a single variant can escape all vaccines".
"The approval of a vaccine does not end instantly with the pandemic and we must expect additional challenges"
However, they also recall that the mutation of viruses to try to circumvent the immunity offered by vaccines is not a new phenomenon, so that "we must expect that the virus continues to mutate once the vaccine has been widely administered." "Whether these mutations will allow the virus to escape vaccine-induced immunity remains to be seen, it depends on what each specific vaccine is targeting and the breadth of the response," continues Shore Capital, who believes that "in the future we could be in a situation where vaccines need to be updated annually to maintain adequate protection (as in the case of influenza)".
"These stories of a new mutation found in mink probably sound disturbing to many at first, but in reality, the virus is mutating all the time and it is not unexpected," so these analysts call for calm. The thing to do, they say, is to wait for more genetic and clinical data on the new strain before drawing any conclusions, because "there is currently no convincing evidence that it is a cause for human health concern."
What the health authorities must do is consider all the scenarios and "actively plan" the possibility of a mutation after the vaccine. And it is that, remember Shore Capital, "Approval of a vaccine does not instantly end the pandemic and we must wait for additional challenges to emerge".