According to a Rutgers University professor, the emergence of COVID options continues to add fuel to the sometimes heated conversations surrounding the ongoing pandemic.
Some of the vaccinated claim that options are being developed in unvaccinated hosts, while some unvaccinated are pointing the finger at looser restrictions for those who have evidence of vaccination.
Dr Reynold Panettiere, vice chancellor for translational medicine at Rutgers, said the reality is more complicated.
“If you look at the level of infection in those who are vaccinated, compared to those who are not vaccinated, the probability of infection if you are not vaccinated is 100 times higher,” Panettiere said. “I think it’s true on both sides because there are breakthrough infections (among those vaccinated). We know that. But the chances of a breakthrough infection are much lower. If you have 10 people who are vaccinated, you can probably get less infected. one person, while you can get infected up to two or three out of 10 who got infected because they weren’t vaccinated ”.
No matter who is infected by the virus, Panettiere added, it will start to mutate. The formation of options is inevitable because it is just a rapid pace of evolution that all viruses go through to survive.
Viruses change, produce options
Viruses are constantly changing their genetic code to promote growth inside the host. If change proves favorable, it becomes the dominant option.
“Our genetic code changes over time,” Panettiere said. “Some of these have benefits in survival, but we are much slower. A human pregnancy is nine months. Viruses change every hour, if not by minutes. So every time a host becomes infected, the virus changes already in the host.
“If these are not noticeable changes, we do not detect them; but in the case of Omicron changes in the genetic code have made the virus much, much more capable of infecting humans. So he just ripped the door off Delta (option) because it had the advantage and made money on those hosts that were available. ”
Dangers of Omicron
The Omicron variant is much more transmitted than previous coronavirus variants, which has led countries around the world to set new one-day records for the number of pandemic cases. This included many breakthroughs, so officials encouraged additional injections. These shots, Panettiere said, have been modified to address the new challenges posed by the options.
“World surveillance is getting pretty good,” he said. “We consider infections and characterize the genetic code of new infections when they are grouped together. So, there is now a global concern. If one of them (options) becomes more likely to cause infection, we are able to quickly modify our vaccines and create boosters for them ”.
Because of this ability to adapt so quickly, Panettiere doesn’t think there will be an option that would be completely immune to the vaccine. The more likely reality, he added, is that most people’s bodies eventually develop immunity to such an extent that severe cases are less common.
Due to the constant evolution of the virus, another dominant variant is always possible; but since there have been so many cases of Omicron, the body’s immune response may already be ready for it.
“The fact is that so many people have become infected with Omicron, and there may be immune that is transmitted,” Panettiere said, “that the chances of developing a fully resistant virus, I think, will be disappearing low. But only time will tell.”
Ahmad Austin Jr. is a lifelong resident of South Jersey who tells health and cannabis stories for the Burlington County Times, Courier-Post and The Daily Journal. For advice on history, contact email@example.com.
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