The coronavirus variant, which was first detected in Colombia and also seen in the USA in the past weeks, is closely monitored by health authorities.
It was determined that seven people who stayed in a nursing home in Belgium and had both vaccines died due to the said Covid variant. The Covid-19 test of 21 nursing home residents was positive. The variant was also found in some employees, but these people had a much milder disease.
The Colombian variant, numbered B.1.621, has not yet been given a similar name to variants such as Beta, Delta. The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that the variant should be carefully studied. According to the news of Reuters, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) also closely followed the variant. Leuven University Lecturer Marc Van Ranst stated that the seven people who died in the nursing home near Brussels were between the ages of 80-90, adding that it was worrying that those who lost their lives were individuals who had both vaccinations.
Marc Van Ranst added that there is no evidence yet on whether the variant is more contagious. B.1,621, the Colombian variant, accounts for only 1 percent of cases in Belgium. In the US, 2% of all cases are thought to be the Colombian variant.
In South Florida, the rate is much higher. A health official speaking to the New York Post said the variant accounts for about 10 percent of positive cases examined at the University of Miami’s pathology lab.
- While there are some indications that vaccines are less effective against the Colombian variant, according to Public Health England (PHE) data, these findings are still very limited and warrant further investigation. There is no evidence that the Colombian variant is more contagious than the Delta variant. As of 4 August, a total of 37 cases of the Colombian variant were seen in the UK.
The vaccines, which are currently in widespread use around the world, have been developed according to the old strains of the coronavirus. Scientists and vaccine manufacturers state that vaccines are also highly effective against new variants, but provide less protection against some variants.
The CEO of BioNTech, a Germany-based biotechnology company that developed a coronavirus vaccine together with the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Prof. Dr. Uğur Şahin, on the other hand, said in his statement on Monday that the current vaccine is effective against all variants, including the Delta variant, and that no updates are needed for now.
Şahin stated that it is very likely that other variants will emerge that will require the update of the vaccine within 6-12 months. “However, there is no need for such a thing right now”he said. Şahin, referring to the possibility that a decision they will make about updating the vaccine will be wrong within 3-6 months when a new variant starts to dominate, said, “Therefore, the time of the change decision should also be appropriate.”said.