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Issue instructions for mutant varieties

Kórónuveiran á sér ýmis afbrigði.

The coronary virus has various variants. Kateryna Kon / Science Photo Library

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is working on guidelines for vaccine manufacturers for mutant variants. These are guidelines on how vaccine manufacturers can plan changes to respond to new strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The EMA has requested information from all vaccine developers on whether their vaccines provide protection against new strains of the virus, such as those found in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, according to the website of the Icelandic Medicines Agency.

The EMA will shortly publish guidelines on what data and research are needed to support changes in vaccines that have already been developed. The guidelines relate to changes in vaccines that need to be made in order to provide protection against the mutated variants of the virus that have emerged and those that may appear later.

The Icelandic Medicines Agency has approved three vaccine against Covid – 19 in Iceland (Comirnaty, Covid – 19 Vaccine Modern and Covid – 11 Vaccine AstraZeneca). There have been some concerns that the vaccines do not provide adequate protection against mutations in the virus. It should be borne in mind, however, that although protection against a mild illness may be less, it is not necessary to reduce protection against a serious Covid – 19 disease. . More information is needed before further conclusions can be drawn, according to the Icelandic Medicines Agency’s website.

Mutant variants began to appear 11 months

The mutated variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus began to appear in March 2020 and had spread somewhat before global vaccinations began. With these guidelines, the EMA intends to clarify its position on changes in vaccines that may be necessary to ensure that active vaccines remain available.

“When viruses mutate, their genetics change. Mutations occur at different rates for different viruses and it does not matter whether the protection of the vaccine is changed after the mutation or not.

In the case of some virus vaccines, such as measles and rubella vaccines, protection against diseases for many years after the development of the vaccines. Unlike this, there are examples of vaccines against influenza, but they need to be improved every year as the vaccines no longer provide protection against mutations, “says the website of the Icelandic Medicines Agency.

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