WHO: world will need new vaccines to avoid transmission and lockdowns – 01/11/2022

Scientists gathered by the WHO (World Health Organization) concluded that the world will need to develop a new generation of vaccines that can prevent the transmission of covid-19 and for social confinement measures to be abandoned. Only new immunizers will be able to avoid the current need for booster doses, which is not considered sustainable by the technicians.

The group also pointed out that the existing immunizers against covid-19 will have their effectiveness reduced in the face of the ômicron variant. But the effect of doses to prevent severe disease is preserved.

Scientists published their findings on Tuesday, warning that the omicron is unlikely to be the last variant of Covid-19.

In recent weeks, the world has seen an explosion in the number of new cases of the pandemic, with more than 9 million new infections, including among those vaccinated. But the death rate has dropped.

To stop the proliferation of cases, companies will have to put new products on the market. Only in this way can social measures be rethought or abandoned.

According to the technicians, “For the omicron variant, the mutational profile and preliminary data indicate that the vaccine’s efficacy will be reduced against symptomatic diseases caused by the omicron variant, but it is more likely that protection against serious diseases will be preserved.”

The WHO, however, indicates that more data on the effectiveness of the vaccine, particularly against hospitalization, serious illness and death, are needed to reach a final conclusion.

While the data is not yet produced, the agency insists that governments need to expand their vaccination campaigns and give priority to places that still have low coverage rates. The aim is “to provide protection against serious illness and death worldwide and, in the long term, to mitigate the emergence and impact of new variants, reducing the burden of infection.”

“In practical terms, while some countries may recommend booster doses of vaccines, the immediate priority for the world is accelerating access to primary vaccination, particularly for groups most at risk of developing serious illness,” he said.

For the WHO, a strategy of giving a third or fourth dose to a population, while billions of people remain without vaccines, will not work.

“A vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable,” he warned.

Future vaccines will have to be developed to stop transmission

The agency also insists that, given the permanence of the virus in society, it will still be necessary to develop vaccines with “a high impact on the prevention of infection and transmission, in addition to the prevention of serious diseases and death”.

“Until such vaccines are available, and as the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves, the composition of current vaccines may need to be updated, to ensure that vaccines continue to provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against infections and diseases by the WHO. variants, including omicron and future variants”, says the entity.

For scientists, companies need to consider a change in vaccine composition:

– To ensure that vaccines continue to meet the criteria set out in the WHO for COVID-19 vaccines, including protection against serious disease

– To improve vaccine-induced protection.

To that end, vaccines need to be made from strains that are genetically and antigenically close to the variants. In addition to providing protection against serious illness and death, they should “be more effective in protecting against infections, thereby decreasing community transmission and the need for rigorous and far-reaching public health and social measures.”

The WHO also wants immunizers that can elicit “broad, strong and lasting immune responses in order to reduce the need for successive booster doses”.

In the search for new vaccines, scientists suggest that companies and institutes consider some options. One would be a monovalent vaccine that generates an immune response against the predominant variants in circulation.

The problem is that such a path could face the challenge of the rapid emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Another option would be a multivalent vaccine containing antigens of different SARS-CoV-2 variants. There is even the possibility of a “pan SARS-CoV-2 vaccine”, which would be more sustainable in the long term and effectively variant proof.

The group of scientists also asks vaccine manufacturers to generate and provide data on the performance of current immunizers, including the breadth, magnitude and durability of immune responses.

“These data will be considered in the context of the framework mentioned above to inform decisions when changes in vaccine composition are necessary,” he explained.

The WHO still considers it important that vaccine manufacturers take short-term steps towards the development and testing of vaccines with predominant variants in circulation and share this data with the agency.

From this information, the scientists will then advise the WHO on the “composition of the vaccine strain that could potentially be developed as a monovalent vaccine with the predominant variant in circulation or a multivalent vaccine derived from different variants”.

About Abhishek Pratap

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