The pandemic might be far from over as the virus continues to mutate and new variants appear to be more infectious and deadly. The concern in the medical community has more reasons to raise as a new Japanese study suggests that the COVID-19 vaccine might not provide, in fact, protection against the Lambda variant.
At the moment, the United States of America is dealing with the expansion of the delta variant, which has increased the number of hospitalizations. However, in other parts of the word, the lambda strain represents the most recent danger. In South America, the new variant is causing new outbreaks, and it is now feared that the antibodies offered by the vaccines might not be enough to protect people against it. Countries such as Argentina, Peru, Chile, or Ecuador have been quite affected by the new COVID-19 variant. In April, around 81% of the Coronavirus cases were believed to be caused by the lambda variant.
A study published by Japanese researchers at the end of July suggests that the lambda variant has a similar mutation to variant delta, which means it has just as much viral material. The study also observes that the rate of vaccination in Chile is relatively high, and around 60% of the population has received at least one shot of the vaccine. However, despite these stats, the new lambda variant proved to be just as devastating, which leads to the belief that it is “proficient in escaping from the antiviral immunity elicited by vaccination.”
“In addition to increasing viral infectivity, the delta variant exhibits higher resistance to the vaccine-induced neutralization. Similarly, here we showed that the lambda variant equips not only increased infectivity but also resistance against antiviral immunity,” study authors explained. The study has not been yet peer-reviewed.