COVID-19 vaccines are creating virus variants
This began after a Facebook post containing an article published in the RAIR may 18 issue went viral. The post contained claims made by French virologist Luc Montagnier, who shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with his colleagues for their discovery of HIV in 1983.
During an interview, with Pierre Barnérias – a filmmaker who produced a documentary filled with debunked conspiracy theories about COVID-19 – Montagnier blamed vaccination for the coronavirus variants.
This saw Twitter rising to the occasion with multiple accounts tweeting in favor.
THE TRUTH: IT’S MUTATION THAT CAUSES VARIANTS AND NOT VACCINES
Since the pandemic began, the coronavirus has infected more than 169 million people worldwide (data by Johns Hopkins University).
With the high caseload and the varied geographical distribution, the virus gets an opportunity to mutate and due to its short doubling time, evolution is inevitable.
This can be attributed to a process called “antigenic drift”. Antigenic drift does not involve a change in the viral subtype. This phenomenon can be easily explained by random mutations in viral RNA.
After the accumulation of these random changes, the antibodies become incapable of identifying the virus, and hence a new variant is born.
Claims by Montagnier have been debunked by Peter Stoilov, Ph.D., an associate professor of biochemistry who is leading the SARS-CoV-2 variant sequencing efforts in West Virginia.
“The facts that Dr. Montagnier ignores are that, while vaccination may select for some variants, it is still effective at suppressing them and the overall effect is a dramatic reduction of infections and a milder disease when the virus manages to break through the vaccine,” he said.
Currently, WHO, on its website claims there are 5 variants of concern (VOC) and 6 variants of interest (VOI)
The VOC include alpha, beta, gamma, and Delta.
The VOI include epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa.
THERE’S NOTHING TO WORRY
The good news is: we don’t need to be worried about these variants.
“This mutant is known to be transmitted fast, but that does not mean they are virulent. So, I am not worried as a mutant cannot cause any public health threat,” said Dr. Panda in an interview with India Today.
And the irony of the situation is- it is the vaccines that will protect us from this deadly disease. By introducing the vaccine into our bodies, our immune system is instructed to make antibodies for the same.
These antibodies will fight the virus when the infection occurs by identifying the mRNA that the virus codes. The immune response will be stronger and the disease will be milder- something we call the “anamnestic response”.
Studies in the UK have also successfully established that the vaccines will be capable of blocking the mutated virus. Whole vaccines like Covaxin shall be more suitable for such occasions.
Whatever claims you read online regarding the harmfulness of vaccines are to be not believed.
During clinical trials, the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were found to be exceedingly safe, with headache, fatigue, and arm pain being the most common side effects.
“Hence take the vaccine at your turn and don’t believe in hearsay”.
Being vaccinated, however, doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. You have to still follow the covid protocol.
To help you remember, follow the SMS to protect yourself from COVID-19-
Mask up and
Vaccinate. Educate. Survive.
Written By: Dr. Namrata Nath
Also Read :