Vaccines based on 501Y.V2 variant likely to elicit good immune responses - Karim

Experts on Wednesday confirmed that people infected with the 501Y.V2 variant produced antibodies that gave them a certain level of protection against current and previous variants.

A vaccinator recording the details of a vaccine set to be given to a healthcare worker at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria on 17 February 2021. Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Scientists said that future COVID-19 vaccines based on the second coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa were likely to elicit good immune responses.

Experts on Wednesday confirmed that people infected with the 501Y.V2 variant produced antibodies that gave them a certain level of protection against current and previous variants.

READ: Those who get 501Y.V2 variant protected from other variants - SA scientists

Researchers from the Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), in collaboration with the Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa, detected the 501Y.V2 variant last year.

Chairperson of government's Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, explained what the latest discovery meant.

"If a vaccine is built on this new variant strain capabilities, if we make the next version of the vaccine based on that, we can expect that there is a good chance that that vaccine will elicit good immune responses that will protect people from getting 501Y.V2 and probably several of the other variants."

Experts have also highlighted the important role of genomic surveillance in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

WATCH: People infected with 501Y.V2 variant are protected from past and current variants

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