At this time “no variant” of covid exceeds “vaccine-induced immunity”. This was highlighted by Roberto Burioni, full professor of Microbiology and Virology at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, during a live event on the Facebook page and on the channels of the San Donato Group, entitled ‘Covid-19: a battle that science is winning ‘.
“This virus has encountered something totally unexpected: the vaccine it elicits, at least we are certain for the mRna vaccines for which there is more data, a much more powerful immunity than that aroused by the disease. We who study viruses have always said: the best vaccine is disease. For this virus it is not true: the best vaccine is the vaccine. We hear all sorts of things about vaccines that ‘work’ and other things. ‘there is no variant “of Sars-CoV-2” capable of overcoming vaccine-induced immunity, “Burioni remarks.
“It is a very recent data that we have from England: the ability to protect from hospitalization, therefore from serious illness, is over 90% for both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, used in that country. We are talking about 92% for AstraZeneca and 96% for Pfizer. These are very high numbers – Burioni specifies – The virus still failed to overcome the vaccine barrier. Will it succeed? I don’t know. We cannot predict it. I am optimistic “. Why? “When a virus mutates to avoid a vaccine, are we sure it will mutate while maintaining its replicative capacity?” Asks Burioni.
“Today – explains the virologist – there are variants of Sars-CoV-2 that give the virus an advantage, in the sense of being much more transmissible. We are facing a different disease from the one we saw last year, during those two waves that hit us. The virus that exists today is much, much more contagious. Because the English variant, now dominated by us, has come out, which is 60% more contagious, and now there is this variant Indian which is even 60% more contagious than the English variant. So it has become a very contagious virus “.
This year, he stresses, “there was no flu because the masks and the distance blocked it. Covid is much more contagious and has become even more so”. But, Burioni points out, “we have the vaccine and it was not taken for granted. Having succeeded is a victory for science that is difficult to describe. Being able in 10 months to make a safe and effective vaccine, capable of blocking the disease, is something close to miracle”.