New Studies Suggest Lambda Variant Could Be Vaccine-Resistant


No word on how people with preexisting natural immunity fare against Lambda.

As the New York Post reports, a not-yet peer-reviewed study out of Japan published on July 28 concludes that the C.37 Lambda variant is defeating the 'leaky' vaccine at an alarming rate.

The strain has been contained in 26 countries, including substantial outbreaks in Chile, Peru, Argentina and Ecuador. “Notably, the vaccination rate in Chile is relatively high; the percentage of the people who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine was [about] 60%,” the authors write. Nevertheless, a big COVID-19 surge has occurred in Chile in Spring 2021, suggesting that the Lambda variant is proficient in escaping from the antiviral immunity elicited by vaccination,” they warn. -New York Post

The new variant is thought to have emerged between November and December 2020 in South America, and has since emerged in countries throughout Europe, North America and Asia according to data from GISAID. That said, it's only around one-tenth of 1% of cases in America, around 911 so far.

"In addition to increasing viral infectivity, the Delta variant exhibits higher resistance to the vaccine-induced neutralization," wrote the authors, adding "Similarly, here we showed that the Lambda variant equips not only increased infectivity but also resistance against antiviral immunity."

In a similar not-yet peer-reviewed study out of Chile, investigators concluded "that mutations present in the spike protein of the lambda variant of interest confer increased infectivity and immune escape from neutralizing antibodies elicited by CoronaVac."

CoronaVac is a vaccine manufactured by a Chinese company and that’s used in Peru. The study continues: “These data reinforce the idea that massive vaccination campaigns in countries with high SARS-CoV-2 circulation must be accompanied by strict genomic surveillance allowing the identification of new isolates carrying spike mutations and immunology studies aimed to determine the impact of these mutations in immune escape and vaccines breakthrough.”


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