Brazil: Will the Next Coronavirus Variant Be Vaccine-Resistant?
April 15, 2021 (EIRNS) – Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) sub-director Jarbas Barbosa warned in remarks this week that, if COVID-19 is not controlled across the world, there exists a worst-case scenario in which a new vaccine-resistant variant emerges. One of the likely places that could happen is Brazil, where the already dangerous P1 Brazilian strain, which is believed to be as much as 2.5 times more contagious than the original coronavirus and more resistant to antibodies, has wreaked havoc in the country and brought the country’s public health system to near-breakdown.
New research conducted by Brazil’s public health institute, Fiocruz, is focusing on an even newer variant. “We believe it’s another escape mechanism the virus is creating to evade the response of antibodies,” said Felipe Naveca, one of the authors of the Fiocruz study. “This is particularly worrying because the virus is continuing to accelerate in its evolution.”
On Tuesday, France suspended all flights to and from Brazil to try to stop the new Brazilian strains from spreading into that country.