Although vaccination for the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19) has started in many countries, the world is still passing by a dark dawn. The number of new confirmed cases and deaths per day is breaking records every time, and new variations are being discovered everywhere. World pharmaceutical companies are confident of the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine even with mutation, Now, there is also a depressing prospect that Corona 19 will become an endemic disease.
Over 90 million corona19 cumulative confirmed cases
Changes to Japan and the United States following the UK and South Africa
RNA virus characteristics… anticipation of vaccine effectiveness
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the cumulative number of corona19 infections worldwide on the 14th exceeded 90 million. The number of cumulative deaths is about 1.954,000. In particular, the recent spread is remarkable. On the 9th and 10th, the number of new confirmed cases for two days in a row exceeded 820,000, and successively exceeded the highest.
In the United States, where the damage of Corona 19 is the most severe, more than 4,000 deaths per day occur, and 130,000 patients are hospitalized.
The public opinion is that the background of the recent spread of Corona 19 is that there is a COVID-19 mutation that is occurring all over the world. In particular, it is known that both the mutant virus from the UK and the mutant virus from South Africa are 1.5 to 1.7 times stronger than the existing virus.
In fact, according to the UK National Statistical Office on the 8th (local time), recent variations from the UK account for 60% of new infections in the UK and 80% of new infections in London. This mutation is currently found in at least 45 countries, The international journal Science said on the 5th, “The B.1.1.7 variant corona 19 found in the southeastern part of the UK is rapidly replacing other mutant viruses, which is a harbinger of a new pandemic.”
In addition, a new mutation was found in Brazilian immigrants on the 10th in Japan, and two new mutations were reported in Ohio, the United States on the 13th. Local media reported that both the mutations found in Japan and the United States are different from those originating in Britain and South Africa.
In particular, researchers at Ohio State University’s medical center reported that mutations in one of these species spread widely in three weeks in Columbus, Ohio’s capital.
◇Mutations and toxicity may be lowered
Mutation is a natural phenomenon that occurs in all living things, The reason why COVID-19 is particularly vulnerable to mutation is due to the characteristics of the RNA virus.. SARS-CoV-2, which causes Corona 19, contains genetic information in’genetic RNA’ in which 30,000 bases are all arranged in a line.
Ahn Kwang-seok, a professor at the Department of Life Sciences at Seoul National University, explained, “The RNA polymerase responsible for copying the genetic material in RNA viruses naturally causes errors.” He added, “DNA polymerase has the ability to correct errors in the process of copying genetic material, but RNA polymerase does not have this ability.” He added, “If such an error occurs, it is mutated.”
Regarding the fact that the mutation has a higher transmission power, Professor Ahn said, “The epidemic virus tries to adapt to the human body. In order to facilitate survival, among the many mutations, the mutation with a fast propagation rate survives.” However, “toxicity may not be rather strong. Viruses can only live in the host, but if the toxicity is strong, the host also dies and the virus disappears.”
◇ Pfizer “There is a variation from the UK”
Pharmaceutical companies are in a study to see if the COVID-19 vaccine is effective in mutations. Pfizer announced the results of a joint study between its researchers and the Texas Medical School on the 8th, and revealed that its vaccine was also effective against a mutant virus originating in the UK.
The researchers took antibodies from blood samples from 20 Pfizer vaccines and tested them on a variety of mutant viruses cultured in the laboratory. As a result, it was announced that it had an effect on the mutation that caused the mutation from the UK. Pfizer then began a study on a mutant virus from South Africa.
Experts predict that the vaccine will have a preventive effect on the mutant virus reported so far. Professor Ahn said, “Vaccines from other companies (other than Pfizer) will not be affected by mutations. Since antibodies made from vaccines attack various parts of the virus’s spike protein that cause infection, this degree of mutation will not affect I will not.”
However, he added, “If the mutation continues to appear for the next year, the efficacy of the vaccine that is now released will be greatly reduced.”
◇”The corona will not disappear”
It is negative whether the vaccine will lead to an end to Corona 19. Modena CEO Stefan Bancel said on the 13th that “the immune effect generated by our vaccine is likely to last for about two years.”
However, he said, “The Corona 19 virus will not go away,” he said. “We will have to live with this virus forever.” This is the same as the predictions of infectious disease experts that Corona 19 will exist like an endemic disease throughout the community at a lower infection level than it is now.
Reporter Seok Kyung-min [email protected]