COVID-19 Updates — Vaccines and Variants with Professor Roger Seheult, MD
Professor Roger Seheult, MD released two new videos covering the latest research on COVID-19 vaccines and variants. Find these videos and more in our Coronavirus Pandemic Explained Clearly Series and on our YouTube channel.
COVID-19 Vaccines vs. Variants
In COVID-19 update 123, Dr. Seheult discusses the efficacy of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against newly discovered SARS-CoV-2 variants in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil. He explains this study published in Science, which demonstrates that the sera of previous Pfizer vaccine recipients produced slightly reduced but still effective neutralizing responses to the B.1.1.7 variant found in the UK.
Another paper that looked at the Moderna vaccine — which is neither peer-reviewed nor published — found that there was no impact of neutralization of the vaccine on the B.1.1.7 variant from the UK and reduced but significant neutralization on the B.1.351 variant found in South Africa. Importantly, this research only takes B-cell/antibody response, not T-cell response (and many other aspects of immunity), into consideration. We’ve been reminded many times during this pandemic that viral immunity is much broader than just the B-cell/antibody response. Data for vaccine efficacy on the P.1 virus variant found in Brazil has yet to be released.
California and New York Variants (COVID-19 Mutations)
In COVID-19 update 124, Dr. Seheult reviews information on SARS-CoV-2 variants discovered in California and New York. He first covers research (not yet peer-reviewed or published) on the California variant from UC, San Francisco (UCSF), which found that the virus binds more efficiently to the receptor, likely making it more infectious and transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 variant discovered in Wuhan. However, the California variant does not yet appear to be as aggressive as the variant first discovered in South Africa, and the three vaccines available in the United States — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — show promise for neutralizing the California virus strain.
Another new variant was confirmed in New York. Per this New York Times article, expert opinion is mixed as to whether or not vaccination or antibodies from a previous COVID-19 infection will be highly effective at neutralizing the virus.
Further updates on vaccines include Moderna’s announcement that they are ready to start testing a new booster intended to protect against the South African SARS-CoV-2 strain, as well as Pfizer’s release of data on storing their vaccines at more reasonable temperatures than their initial -60 degrees Celsius requirement.
Stay Tuned for More COVID-19 Updates
Our COVID-19 videos are always available for free (and ad-free) at MedCram.com. In addition, check out our full library of courses and lectures on subjects ranging from Jugular / Venous Pulse to Mechanical Ventilation Pearls Explained Clearly and many more!
Meanwhile, you can find all of our COVID-19 videos compiled here.