Stars and Stripes stripes.com 24 Dec, 2020 21:00 am

Experts: Vaccines will work against new coronavirus variants spreading in UK, S. Africa

Experts: Vaccines will work against new coronavirus variants spreading in UK, S. Africa
Coronavirus mutations identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa may be provoking alarm, but infectious-disease experts are optimistic the new variants are still vulnerable to the powerful hammer of newly authorized vaccines.

The variants have genetic mutations that change the structure of the spike protein on the outside of the virus.It can't magically melt through a mask if it has eight mutations in the spike protein, or even if it has 50 mutations in the spike protein.This RNA instructs cells to manufacture a protein that looks like the spike protein that studs the outside of the coronavirus.Those antibodies are diverse in shape and function and cover the whole waterfront of the spike protein.

A mutation here and there, or even eight or 10 or 20 mutations changing the spike protein would still leave vulnerable areas for the antibodies to attack.Coronavirus mutations identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa may be provoking alarm, but infectious-disease experts are optimistic the new variants are still vulnerable to the powerful hammer of newly authorized vaccines.

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