Indian coronavirus mutation has ‘several signs’ that are ‘not good,’ show it may be vaccine-resistant, coronavirus czar Prof. Ash says.
Coronavirus czar Professor Nachman Ash spoke to Israel’s “Meet the Press” program about the coronavirus pandemic and the newly-arrived Indian variant.
When asked if Israel has achieved herd immunity, Prof. Ash responded, “Not yet. We have approximately five million people vaccinated and about a million more recovered. That’s not enough. We need to reach approximately 75% vaccinated and recovered in order to reach herd immunity. But we do see the facts on the ground – the infection rates are low.”
Regarding the Indian mutation, he said: “A few days ago, we identified the mutation among people returning from abroad. Most of them were identified in the airport and went into quarantine, and some were identified during their days of quarantine after arriving in Israel.”
“I hope that there has not been significant exposure other than that, and we are checking all of their contacts. We don’t know much about this mutation, but it has several signs that are not good. We are comparing it, in genetic sequencing, to what we know and it has a few things that show that it might be resistant to the vaccine.”
So far, there has been no mutation that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is not effective against.”In the genetic sequencing libraries globally there are thousands of mutations,” Prof. Ash explained.
“We only look at the mutations which have clinical significance, such as the British and South African mutations, and we suspect that the Indian mutation is very infectious, after we saw how hundreds of thousands of people contracted it quickly in southern India.”