New Lambda COVID-19 variant may be resistant to vaccines, Study reveals
A new study has revealed that the Lambda variant, a new strain of COVID-19 may be resistant to vaccines.
The variant, Lambda has been highlighted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of interest compared to the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta strains, which have all risen to “variant of concern” status.
The strain has been contained in 26 countries, including substantial outbreaks in Chile where it has been blamed for more than a third of the country’s infections, as well as Argentina and Ecuador.
In the study, researchers said though the Lambda variant was reported to have been first detected in Peru in December 2020, “in-depth analysis” revealed that the variant was first detected in Argentina on November 8, 2020.
They said the surge in infections in Chile despite a high vaccination rate suggests that the variant may be immune to vaccines.
The researchers, however, added that the study has not been peer reviewed, and it is therefore not conclusive.
“Notably, the vaccination rate in Chile is relatively high; the percentage of the people who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine was 60%,” the study said.
“Nevertheless, a big COVID-19 surge has occurred in Chile in Spring 2021, suggesting that the Lambda variant is proficient in escaping from the antiviral immunity elicited by vaccination.
“In addition to increasing viral infectivity, the Delta variant exhibits higher resistance to the vaccine-induced neutralization.
“Similarly, here we showed that the Lambda variant equips not only increased infectivity but also resistance against antiviral immunity.”
Scientists in Chile had warned in a recent study that the Lambda variant appears to evade vaccines better than other strains.
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