Published: 21st April 2021
What The FAQ: Do we have the right vaccines to fight the Triple Mutant strain of the COVID-19 virus?
The triple mutation is only being considered a variant of interest in India and not as a concern but an initial study and proper genome sequencing might help us
India has seen the biggest jump in COVID-19 cases — 2.95 lakh cases and 2,023 deaths till 9 am Wednesday. And amid such a dire situation, a triple mutant strain of the virus has also surfaced in Maharashtra, Delhi and West Bengal. Here we explain how this mutant strain is different and everything you need to know about the new strain.
What is a triple mutant strain of the virus?
This particular virus has three different strains of COVID-19 viruses combined to form a new variant. Along with Maharashtra, Delhi and West Bengal, where the triple mutant is present, scientists said that the new surges across the globe are also due to this new variant. Reportedly, this is a more transmissible variant and is making lots of people sick very quickly.
Why is COVID undergoing so many mutations?
The more a virus spreads, the more it replicates and the more it mutates. Experts said that we need to keep altering and tweaking the vaccines and for that, we need super fast genome sequencing which is now being done at a staggering pace.
Is the triple mutation more infectious?
Experts say that these mutations are the reason behind fresh infection spikes across the world. But we do not know how infectious or how deadly the triple mutant is or even how deadly it is — further studies will reveal these details. As of now, the new mutant strain is being called a "variant of interest" in India.
Will existing vaccines work against the triple mutation?
Out of the three strains in the triple mutant, two have immune escape responses — they are more resistant to antibodies than the third. Scientists say that the new virus might have some ability to bypass the naturally acquired immunity to COVID that we have developed.