An E484K, K417N and N501Y mutated spike protein in the B.1.351 variant makes it easier for the virus to infect people, as well as making it more difficult to treat or prevent with Covid vaccines.
An unreviewed Canadian study that analysed data from over 200,000 Covid-19 cases and was published in July but not peer-reviewed was cited by the WHO in its most recent weekly report.
Covid variants containing the N501Y mutation (i.e., the alpha, beta, and gamma variants) were significantly more likely to result in hospitalisation, intensive care unit admission, and death when compared to non-variant of concern strains.
Even though “protection (is) retained against severe disease” when it comes to beta, the WHO noted on Tuesday that “possible reduced protection against symptomatic disease and infection” is present with the beta variant.
In terms of transmissibility, “we know that the delta variant outcompetes beta, but beta’s been hovering in the background for quite a while,” said Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.
“We know it’s more resistant to the vaccine. In a population that is only partially vaccinated or is not vaccinated, the beta variant may be able to avoid vaccines, according to the data we have, particularly from South Africa.
So, does the UK have the right to quarantine new arrivals from France? Young doesn’t buy it, blaming “panic” for the decision.
Beta infection rates are currently higher in Spain than in any other European country, according to current data. According to recent data, the percentage of positive cases in Spain is more than 20 percent, whereas in France it is only about 3.8 percent,” he said.
‘Knee-jerkism’, if you will. There is a lot of inconsistency.” There is no apparent reason to single out France in this manner.