On one of the recent press-conferences, the head of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that thanks to the good news about the vaccine against COVID-19, the light at the end of a very long tunnel was becoming brighter and brighter.
However, today it seems that he was mistaken: the tunnel is becoming longer and darker again, the light is fading. Moderna, Pfizer, and BioNTech now need to prove that their vaccines are efficient against the new strain of the virus. Now we’ll discuss how the new strain changed the state of things, and what the nearest future will be like.
What is this new strain?
- According to the WHO, the mutant was discovered in the middle of September and named VUI-202012/01.
- The discovery of the new strain was announced by the British prime minister Boris Johnson.
- According to the preliminary information, the new type of coronavirus spreads 70% quicker. However, this can be proven true or false only after further research.
- Doctors voice a careful opinion that VUI-202012/01 doesn’t cause worse damage and isn’t more mortal than the “normal” type.
- There’s no information yet whether the vaccines by Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna are efficient against the new type of the virus.
- Some epidemiologists say that the new type of SARS-CoV-2, detected in Britain, is the result of the use of certain drugs in patients with the “normal” virus.
What was the reaction of pharma companies?
According to CNN, the representatives of Pfizer, Moderna, and BioNTech have already announced further research of the efficacy of their drugs against the new strain.
Note that the vaccine by Pfizer was approved for use in Great Britain, the EU, and the USA. As for Moderna, its vaccine was approved for the USA only.
What’s in Great Britain?
Today, the UK is considered the hotbed of the new coronavirus strain. Due to this, several regions in the South-East of the country and London have introduced the toughest quarantine measures since December 20th. Mass Christmas events are canceled, barbershops, gyms, and non-food stores are closed.
The information about the mutant disturbed the globe at once. Flights to and from Britain were canceled by the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Russia, Kuwait, Israel, Oman, and other countries.
How did the market react?
The latest events made Pfizer’s stocks drop by 1.71%, from 37.38 to 36.74USD each on December 22nd. BioNTech’s stocks experienced a more significant decline – by 5.54%, from 106.46 to 100.56 USD. Moderna’s quotations dropped by almost 9%, from 138.3 to 125.88 USD.
The new version of SARS-CoV-2 spreads two times faster, experts say but isn’t more dangerous. Well, at least, we’ve got this. Now it is important to find out whether the existing vaccines approved in the EU, Britain and the USA are efficient against this new strain.
According to the preliminary conclusion of the WHO, the drugs against the coronavirus remain efficient. However, there’s not much trust in this organization left. So, let’s wait for some news from labs and hope for the better.