While AstraZeneca has been losing momentum for many months due to failures associated with both the risks associated with vaccine use and delays in delivery, the Anglo-Swedish laboratory announced on Tuesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the Delta and Kappa coronavirus variants.
The Delta option is a worldwide concern. In the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister has postponed the complete lifting of restrictions. In Israel, which is arguably the most vaccinated country in the world, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned of a “new wave” of infection after an increase in the number of patients accused of the Delta variant brought to Israel by travelers. On Monday, Israeli authorities identified 125 new cases in the country, where more than half of the population received two doses of the vaccine.
In Australia, a new Covid-19 cluster emerged yesterday on Tuesday, June 22, in Sydney, just as Melbourne seemed to finally emerge from the woods, signaling the difficulty in tackling the pandemic. Ten people tested positive overnight in Sydney, Australia’s main city, bringing the Bondi Beach cluster to 21 cases. The man behind the cluster is said to be a driver working with airline crews who have been infected with a highly contagious variant of the Delta virus, first discovered in India.
“It should be admitted that this Delta variant is the Olympic champion in personal jumps,” Prime Minister Gladys Berezhiklyan told reporters.
AstraZeneca promises over 90% protection for the Delta variant
In a press release released Wednesday 23 June, the Anglo-Swedish laboratory said the latest results from the University of Oxford are based on the latest analysis by the Public Health England (PHE).
PHE announced last week that a study found COVID-19 vaccines developed AstraZeneca and Pfizer avoided hospitalization due to delta coronavirus in more than 90% of cases.
First introduced in India by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Delta variant is now the majority in the world.
(with Reuters and AFP)
In particular, the Delta and Kappa variants come from the same strain. According to the Wikipedia site, variant B.1.617, also known as G / 452R. V3, 2 is one of the known variants of SARS-CoV-2. It was first discovered in Maharashtra, India on October 5, 2020. It is identified in clade 20A according to the Nextstrain phylogenetic classification system. The substring B.1.617.1 is named by WHO as the Kappa variant, and the substring B.1.617.2 is called the Delta variant.…
To deepen the topic, here is a piece of information from the government website Public Health France, retrieved today, but dated April 29th:
Update on variant SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617
On Thursday, April 29, 2021, variant B.1.617 of the COVID-19 virus, widespread in India, was first detected in the metropolitan area. Risk contacts were identified and immediately isolated.
What do we know about this option?
According to INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia), the 20A / 484Q (B.1.617) variant would first appear in India in December 2020.
It carries 2 mutations that may be associated with significant elution effects (after infection and after vaccination) and an increased risk of viral transmission. However, at this stage, these elements have not yet been formally demonstrated.
This option will concern, as of April 14, 2021, 61% of the samples sequenced in the state of Maharastra where it was found. In India, this accounts for 15 to 20% of sequenced samples. However, the strategy for sequencing samples in India is not well described and in India there is a very low proportion (less than 1%) of positive samples for sequencing. Option 20I / 501Y.V1 (UK) is considered predominant in most regions.
The Indian health authorities have classified this option as a VOC (option of concern). At this stage, no link has been established between the emergence of this option and the recent deterioration of the epidemiological situation in India.