Monday, September 27, 2021
ADVT 
International

Lambda remains variant of interest rather than variant of concern for now

Darpan News Desk IANS, 13 Jul, 2021 02:51 PM
  • Lambda remains variant of interest rather than variant of concern for now

Lambda has now gone globetrotting. According to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report, it has been found in 29 countries, writes Tara Hurst, Lecturer, Biomedical Science, Birmingham City University in The Conversation.

The report states: "Lambda has been associated with substantive rates of community transmission in multiple countries, with rising prevalence over time concurrent with increased Covid-19 incidence."

On June 14, the WHO declared lambda a "global variant of interest". Public Health England followed suit on June 23, designating it a "variant under investigation" because of its "international expansion and several notable mutations".

Of the eight confirmed cases of lambda in the UK, most have been linked to overseas travel.

Hurst writes that Peru currently has the highest number of Covid-19 deaths per capita. For every 100,000 of the population, 596 have died of coronavirus.

Hurst says that one of the main reasons for the high number, is due to emergence of the lambda variant, which currently accounts for 97 per cent of cases in Peru.

Hurst adds that the variant contains many mutations, which could increase transmissibility and severity, reduce susceptibility to vaccines and confound diagnostics. It remains a variant of interest rather than a variant of concern, Hurst adds.

A preprint from the New York University Grossman School of Medicine looked at the effect of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against the lambda variant and found a two-to-threefold reduction in vaccine-elicited antibodies compared with the original virus. In the scheme of things, this is not a massive loss of neutralising antibodies. The researchers conclude that these mRNA vaccines will probably remain protective against the lambda variant.

Hurst says researchers from the University of Chile investigated the effect of the Sinovac (also known as "CoronaVac") vaccine against the lambda variant. They also found a threefold reduction in neutralising antibodies compared with the original variant.

Hurst adds the fact that these two studies found that neutralisation is at least partially retained is promising, not least because this is only one facet of the immune response elicited by vaccination.

According to PHE's latest "risk assessment" (July 8) of lambda, there is no evidence of a country where lambda has outcompeted delta. Studies are ongoing, but for now, lambda remains a variant of interest rather than a variant of concern.

MORE International ARTICLES

Immunized but banned: EU says not all COVID vaccines equal

Immunized but banned: EU says not all COVID vaccines equal

The couple — and millions of other people vaccinated through a U.N.-backed effort — could find themselves barred from entering many European and other countries because those nations don't recognize the Indian-made version of the vaccine for travel.

Immunized but banned: EU says not all COVID vaccines equal

WHO: Rich countries should donate vaccines, not use boosters

WHO: Rich countries should donate vaccines, not use boosters

Top officials at the World Health Organization say there's not enough evidence to show that third doses of coronavirus vaccines are needed and appealed Monday for the scarce shots to be shared with poor countries who have yet to immunize their people instead of being used by rich countries as boosters.

WHO: Rich countries should donate vaccines, not use boosters

US plans to make airlines refund fees if bags are delayed

US plans to make airlines refund fees if bags are delayed

The Transportation Department will propose that airlines be required to refund fees on checked baggage if the bags aren't delivered to passengers quickly enough.

US plans to make airlines refund fees if bags are delayed

Liberty: Lots of travelers expected on freer Fourth of July

Liberty: Lots of travelers expected on freer Fourth of July

Americans enjoying newfound liberty are expected to travel and gather for cookouts, fireworks and family reunions over the Fourth of July weekend in numbers not seen since pre-pandemic days.

Liberty: Lots of travelers expected on freer Fourth of July

Biden to visit Florida building collapse on Thursday

Biden to visit Florida building collapse on Thursday

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Surfside, Florida, on Thursday to visit with the families of victims of the collapsed Miami-area condominium tower, according to the White House.

Biden to visit Florida building collapse on Thursday

Pak Interior Minister admits country hosting Taliban families

Pak Interior Minister admits country hosting Taliban families

Pakistan has for long completely rejected assertions of having Taliban footprints on its soil. However, incumbent Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has admitted that Islamabad not only hosts families of the Taliban, but it also is aware of fighters getting medical treatment in the country.

Pak Interior Minister admits country hosting Taliban families

PrevNext