France’s health minister told a news outlet on Monday that the Indian variant of the coronavirus has been detected in around 20 people so far. Cases of the variant, identified as B.1.617, were first detected in France at the end of April, with illnesses detected in three people who had recently traveled from India, France24 reported. com.
The United States considers the strain from India to be a “Variant of Interest (VOI)”, which differs from a “Variant of Concern (VOC)”. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a VOI has been associated with changes in receptor binding, reduced neutralization by antibodies generated against a previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments, potential diagnostic impact or expected increase in communicability or disease. gravity.
There are four versions of the variant detected in India considered to be of interest by the CDC, including B.1.617, B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3. Managers are monitoring the impact of variants on reducing neutralization by antibody treatments and the impact on vaccine effectiveness. The World Health Organization (WHO) also considers the strain to be an interesting variant.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran reportedly told France Info radio that it was not clear whether currently licensed vaccines were effective against the Indian variant.
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India is currently facing a devastating spike in cases that have been blamed on emerging variants and lax public health measures surrounding mass political rallies and religious celebrations. Hospitals across the country have been overwhelmed with sick patients, many lacking necessary supplies like oxygen and personal protective equipment.
Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the White House, told ABC at the weekend that mass vaccination efforts would be essential to end the crisis in India. However, India, which was supposed to be a large producer of the AstraZeneca vaccine, has focused its attention elsewhere as supplies are scarce. The United States and other countries have pledged to send production equipment and unused doses to the country in an effort to close the gap.
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“They have to get their resources – not only from within but also from outside – which is why other countries have to contribute so that they can either provide Indians with their own vaccines or donate vaccines,” Said Fauci.