Home / News / India /  New COVID strains not 'more infectious': AIIMS director

Randeep Guleria, director of The All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said that vaccines will be able to control the spread of coronavirus and lessen the mortality rate. "Currently we have vaccines with efficacy of 70 per cent, 80 per cent, 90 per cent so even if there is slight fall in efficacy they will still be effective in preventing the virus from further spreading," Guleria told in an interview to ANI.

"It doesn't seem that the strains are more infectious or vaccine will not work but we need to study it more aggressively and look at it more closely. We should not miss out on strains which are more infectious," Guleria said.

"There are two things. One is the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing serious disease and death. I could say that the vaccine definitely will prevent serious disease and therefore decease mortality as far as new strain is concern. As far efficacy is a concern, one can argue that if you have a strain, the efficiency theoretically may come down a little bit but we do have a good buffer," he said.

The union ministry of health and family affairs said on Tuesday that two new strains of the Covid-19 virus — the N440K variant and the E484Q variant have been detected in Maharashtra and Kerala. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that these two newer virus strains are responsible for the surge in cases in some districts in these two states as well as from Telangana, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of the NITI Aayog had said during the weekly COVID-19 update yesterday.

"We need more data to show how infectious the strain is. Currently, the data we have does not suggest that this is more infectious but I would say more data required. Samples have been taken from all areas where a surge has been seen. After analysis, we will have the data," he said.

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