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Is Coronavirus Learning to Resist Vaccines?

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4 min read


The failure of vaccines begins when the viruses start resisting the vaccinations. Read this article to know more.

Written by

Dr. Lochana .k

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Published At February 9, 2021
Reviewed AtMarch 17, 2023

What Is Viral Mutation?

Viruses are made up of many coded genetic materials. The DNA information is responsive to the structural function of the human body. Likewise, RNA is responsible for the virus. In general, when a microorganism enters the body, the first and foremost responsibility of the body is immune power that helps in the destruction of the microorganism. When the microorganism is very powerful and virulent, or if the immune system is weak, then the body fails to kill them.

In some cases, immunity is not effective against new pathogens. These viruses have the ability to transform into different types. This ability is known as viral mutation. As far as COVID-19 is concerned, the virus that causes it has the ability to modify its genetic information, which is different from the earlier versions. The virulence of the new strain of the virus is questionable. The degree of mutation increases when the virus spreads from one individual to another. Until the complete details of the structure and characteristics of the mutated virus are identified, it is not possible to understand them deeply and find medicine or a vaccine that works well against it.

For instance, one individual from India traveled to Malaysia and became the root cause of the spreading of a new mutated strain called D614g. There were approximately 45 members affected, and this group of members was called the Sivaganga cluster. The strain of D614g had a faster capacity to spread.

What Is Resistance to Vaccines?

Vaccines that are implemented earlier were based on the features of the older version of the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Now, after various viral mutations, scientists are not sure how the approved COVID-19 vaccines work against any new strain with multiple mutations, especially in their spike protein. Data shows that two of the vaccines that are approved for emergency use against SARS-CoV-2 are not effective in countries like South Africa. This has awakened fear and the need for the instant development of powerful and efficient vaccines to conquer both the older and newer strains of SARS-CoV-2.

Reports from Johnson & Johnson revealed that the recent shots of the COVID-19 vaccine were approximately 72 % effective in the prevention of moderate and severe cases of COVID-19 in the United States of America, and the same was only 57 % effective in South America and 66 % effective in Latin America.

The virus has mutated several times since it was identified. In the vast range of mutations, there have been less severe variants also. From the perspective of evolutionary biological sciences, the feature of variation and mutation is a highly expected factor. Even though it is expected, it is necessary for us to stay aware and expect the unexpected. Scientists initially thought that it might take several years for new strains of SARS-CoV-2 to resist COVID-19 vaccines, but elevated mutations have accelerated this.

What Are the Side Effects of Vaccination?

The side effects that can possibly occur due to COVID-19 vaccines are:

  • Pain and swelling in the site where the shot was given.

  • Muscle pain.

  • Fatigue.

  • Fever.

  • Headache.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Chills.

  • Joint pain.

  • Swollen lymph nodes.

  • Feeling unwell.

Is Resistance to Vaccines Really Harmful to Humans?

More than 100 million people are known to be affected by this virus on a worldwide basis. As the virus multiplies and mutates inside human cells, each positive case of COVID-19 is another chance for the virus to mutate in a random fashion. One of the biggest problems with the capacity of mutation is that it sets an advantage for the virus. The body’s natural defense mechanism is affected and has only limited possibilities for acting against the virus. This puts a sign of a red flag. Looking at all the outcomes of the situation, we can say that the second wave of COVID-19 and its mutated versions is a definite attention seeker. By considering the less virulent mutations of SARS-CoV-2, we cannot ignore or assault the virus.

What Is the Indicating Sign of SARS-CoV-2 Mutation?

A significant indication of the mutations in SARS-CoV-2 was seen when there were several people who acquired the virus for the second time. The immunity that was developed in the individual during their first attack was not successful in acting against the mutated virus, which resulted in re-infection. The greatest disturbance was created for the scientists at Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna when they understood that the same poor response of the immune system could be generated with the vaccines when the individual is affected by new strains.

Recently, different versions of the virus were collected and exposed to various blood samples from a limited crowd of people who already received the vaccination. The antibodies that were produced in the body to neutralize the virus were very effective in the case of the Moderna vaccine. But, the Pfizer vaccine was not very efficient against the variant that was prevalent in South Africa. Due to the insufficient statistical reports, countries like India temporarily rejected the vaccines from Pfizer.

What Are the Steps to Be Taken?

The goal is to focus on limiting the new strains of the virus. To achieve this, we have to block the routes by which the mutation can occur. The main route through which the virus jumps from one person to another is through close contact between people. Restricting close contact makes it possible to isolate the virus. By bringing the virus to an isolated state, it is possible to lower new cases. To make this practically possible, we have to maintain social distancing. By following this, we can prevent the virus from infecting others. All survivors should avoid getting exposed to the second wave with a new strain. Booster shots will be required for delivering immunity against new variants.

In addition to social distancing, proper maintenance of hygiene is highly recommended. The usage of face masks and gloves is recommended on a normal basis. High-risk people should enjoy staying in an isolated place rather than crowding in public. Older adults, kids, and pregnant women fall under the high-risk category. It is also our responsibility to get advice from highly qualified experts before choosing to receive the vaccine. When there are insufficient reports on the mutated viruses, it is our responsibility to stay additionally secured. In this way, we can overcome many clueless issues.

Frequently Asked Questions


Who Is Not Supposed to Take the COVID Vaccine?

Most people can take the covid 19 vaccine, except the ones below:
- Infants under six months.
- People who are diagnosed or suspected of having covid 19. They should wait until they complete the isolation period and fully recover from acute symptoms.
- People with a high fever over 38.5 degrees celsius.
- People with a history of severe allergies to any ingredients of the covid 19 vaccine should not get the vaccination to avoid the adverse effects.
- People on blood thinners must inform the health care provider before vaccination.


How Long Does Immunity Stay Following a COVID Vaccination?

The immunity can last at least longer than six months in individuals after having covid-19 vaccines. And according to research published in science, immunity can last up to eight months for people having natural immunity (i.e., people infected with covid-19 have immunity called natural immunity).


Why Are Some Individuals Immune to COVID?

Only today, researchers have discovered a genetic mutation that makes people completely get immunity from covid 19. But HIV-infected people can get immunity from covid 19 because, in HIV-infected people, the immune system of the individual will attack their own body. At that time, it clears covid -19 entry into the body before the development of symptoms of covid 19 from the body. In this way, people with HIV are immune to covid.


How Frequently Can Individuals Contract the COVID?

There is no limitation to the individual getting covid-19 because everyone can get covid-19 more than once. It means there is a chance of reinfection of the virus to the people, which tells that if a person gets a covid-19 infection and then recovers from it, later again the same person can be infected again, which is known as reinfection. People will have the same protection from repeat covid-19 infection even after their recovery from the last covid-19 infection. It clearly explains that reinfections also occur after covid-19.


How Soon Do the Symptoms of the Omicron Variety Appear?

Generally, the time taken for an infected individual to develop symptoms after the exposure takes a long time for previous variants of covid-19, whereas the omicron variant shows symptoms rapidly after infection, i.e., from three days or less to a week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Which vaccines are better, either Pfizer or Moderna?

Based on a few mix-and-match studies, taking a different booster may lead to a slightly better immune response than getting the same vaccines again. But still, this data needs to have robust evidence. And there is no clear advantage of switching between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.


Is a COVID Booster Required?

A booster dose is used to improve the protection from the first two doses, so every individual needs to take a booster dose. Even though people are fully vaccinated, there is a chance of getting still or spreading the covid-19 infection. So, everyone must follow the safety protocols. Most people need a booster dose to help improve the protection from the first two doses. However, you may still get or spread COVID-19 even if you are vaccinated, so it's important to follow safety protocols. And this protocol clearly states that every individual aged five years and older should wait for at least two months after their last dose.


Can I Contract COVID More Than Once?

Yes, an individual can get Covid-19 more than once or even more times. While many people think that getting infection means having higher protection from future encounters with the virus, which is the latest wave of COVID-19 cases shows that reinfections are becoming more common with newer variants such as XBB, 1.5 (a subvariant of Omicron), contributing to second or even third infections.


What Illnesses Lack a Vaccine?

Initially, everyone should know that there is no universal flu vaccine. Malaria and tuberculosis have no vaccine that has long-lasting protection, and this condition also implies Chagas, elephantiasis, hookworm, or liver flukes. But most diseases like cholera, tuberculosis, smallpox, and hepatitis can be prevented by vaccination. And there is still no vaccine available for osteoporosis.


Do Immunisations Remain in Your Body Indefinitely?

Yes, antibodies that will help in the immunization process are present in an individual's body for many months. But there is still no robust evidence about how long the antibodies last in the individual body. One can substantially reduce their infection risk for at least six months through both infection and vaccination. To vaccines and infections, different immune responses are seen by different people.


Does Covid have herd immunity?

Population immunity is called herd immunity because it indirectly protects from an infectious diseases. It can happen only when immunity develops through previous infection or the population has immunity through vaccination. To achieve herd immunity through vaccination, the WHO will not allow the disease to spread through any population segment, resulting in extreme cases and deaths. For example, one can get Herd immunity against covid- 19 through vaccination; they can be easily protected but not by exposing them to the pathogen which causes the disease. An individual's immune system can be trained to produce proteins that fight disease, known as antibodies, just as it will be a similar event that occurs when they are exposed to a disease. But vaccines play a crucial role in providing immunity and helping people without causing them to become sick. Vaccination helps people through protection from getting and spreading the disease and helps break the chains of transmission.


Why Do Immunisations Not Work?

The two main reasons for the failure of immunization are:
 1. The vaccine delivery system fails to provide potent vaccines to those in need properly.
 2. Immune response failure can occur either due to inadequacies of vaccines or factors that are the best to inherit.


Which Illness Is Incurable?

Cholera, tuberculosis, smallpox, and hepatitis are several diseases that can be cured and prevented through vaccination. But unfortunately, there is no vaccine available, and the incurable disease is osteoporosis.


How Long Did People Live Before Vaccines?

People have not lived for a long period and died painfully, mostly in the infant stage or in childhood, due to the cause of diseases like tuberculosis, pleurisy, typhus, tonsillitis, cholera, and dysentery. The main reason for their deaths was the lack of vaccines for these diseases. And the common treatment for these diseases will be bloodletting only. So at that period, the average lifespan of individuals suffering from these diseases will be around 35 years.


Which Vaccinations Are No Longer Necessary?

According to rules in the United States, there are Seven diseases for which vaccines are no longer needed or eliminated:
 - Chickenpox.
 - Diphtheria.
 - Measles.
 - Mumps.
 - Polio.
 - Rubella.
 - Pertussis, or whooping cough.
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Dr. Lochana .k
Dr. Lochana .k



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