Virus Variation

Vaccines might have trouble with the new COVID-19 mutation

As new mutations of the COVID-19 virus have erupted in the U.K. and South Africa, cases have surged and questions have risen about whether or not the vaccine will be effective in creating the proper antibodies to fight these mutations. Until recently, experts have reassured the global population that the vaccine should be able to carry out the intended effects regardless of new mutations, according to

Further research has been conducted by U.K. scientists, and they have now expressed growing concern over the vaccine, stating that it may not be able to protect against the mutation that emerged from South Africa, according to

Although the mutations in both the U.K. and South Africa have the potential to be dangerous, the main concern that health experts have is that the COVID-19 variant in South Africa is shown to have additional mutations when compared to the variant found in the U.K.

In particular, the variant expresses crucial changes to the spike protein, which is what the virus uses to attack and infect human cells. The alteration in the spike protein has led health experts to believe that the virus will be less susceptible to the immune system’s response after receiving the vaccine. While they are still testing the vaccine on these variants, scientists have said that any necessary tweaks can be made in around six weeks, all according to

Regardless, many health care workers and experts around the world are urging people to get the vaccine. On Instagram, 68 students responded to a poll asking whether or not they would get the vaccine. Out of those students, 76% said that they would. Junior Thomas Schwent shared his opinion on why he chose “Yes” to getting the vaccine.

“The reality is that this has been rigorously tested and has been approved by the FDA to be used,” Schwent said.

Other students who also replied “Yes” had different reasons for their responses.

“We’ve been required [to get] so many vaccines for school and no complaints [have been made],” junior Anna Arms said. “This is no different. Plus, I want [everything] to get back to normal without people still dying.”