Viral Mutations and the Race for a Vaccine

COVID-19, like most viruses, is mutating.  What does this mean for the direction of the virus and the development of a vaccine? 


Although virus mutations have the reputation of always being a deadlier development, scientists say mutations within RNA viruses, like the coronaviruses, are normal and expected and can sometimes result in a weaker strain that ends up dying off.  This doesn’t mean that mutations aren’t something to keep an eye on as vaccine research and development continues, and most vaccines use the original strains for the purpose of immunizing, which cover many variations.


One study in particular indicates that a more contagious mutation of the COVID-19 virus is now the predominant strain in the US. David Montefiori, a Professor and the Director of the Laboratory for AIDS Vaccine Research and Development at Duke University Medical Center, says the virus’ mutation may make developing a vaccine take longer.


Immunity and the length of immunity with COVID-19 antibodies is still in question but some scientists think that COVID-19 antibodies will be similar to SARs antibodies, which die off and leave the subject open to reinfection about 3 years down the line.


The virus is currently mutating in ways that are expected and scientists are keeping that in consideration while developing a vaccine. There are currently 8 vaccines that have been approved for clinical trials being tracked by the World Health Organization.  In addition to the actual development of a working vaccine, governments and corporations will also have to develop plans for manufacturing and distribution infrastructure–a vast undertaking that is almost as much of a challenge as the actual development of a vaccine.  


We will continue with similar updates as scientists continue working on a vaccine and treatments that can slow down and put a halt to COVID-19.


Yours in Strength,

The Take Back Control Team


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