The Indian variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, which could be behind the great rise of the pandemic in South Asia, shows in laboratory studies signs of being more contagious and resistant to some vaccines and treatments, the Organization warned on Wednesday World Health Organization (WHO).

The variant includes mutations “associated with increased transmission” and with a lower capacity to neutralize the virus with some treatments with monoclonal antibodies, the WHO highlighted in its weekly epidemiological report.

Likewise, some analyzes carried out in the United States show a possible reduction in the neutralizing effects of vaccines against this variant, and even preliminary studies with the Novavax-Covaxin vaccine show that it is not capable of counteracting it, says the WHO.

The Indian variant, first detected in patients from that country at the end of 2020, is being studied by more than 1,200 sequencing of its genome in 17 countries, including India itself, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore.

Despite concerns about the incidence of this virus in India, which already accounts for almost 40% of new global cases, the WHO still considers it only a “variant of interest” and not a “variant of concern”, the highest level alert, for now only considered for those of the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.

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