Sumary of In a Race Against an Ever-Changing Virus, Humans Losing Ground The virus behind COVID-19 is evolving fast enough that vaccination efforts may not be able to wipe it out.:
- And unlike the viruses that cause the flu or AIDS, they thought, this virus couldn’t mutate to evade the fully primed human immune system.
- “Thankfully, SARS-CoV-2 does not seem to have evolved any such tricks yet — suggesting that we still have an opportunity to stem its spread and the pandemic by pursuing a relatively straightforward vaccine approach,” wrote two Yale University immunologists in a July 31, 2020, essay for The New York Times.
- “I think there is broad consensus that the virus will not go away,” Amalio Telenti, MD, chief data scientist of the San Francisco -based Vir Biotechnology company, says.
- The virus has not yet developed the ability to completely escape the immune response stimulated by the best of the current vaccines.
- But it does mean that humanity is facing a fight that could extend into the foreseeable future.
- In the beginning of the pandemic, a handful of scientists argued that allowing widespread infection provided the quickest option for containing the virus through natural immunity.
- Often a virus evolves to evade the immune response, re-infecting more people until it develops new immunity.
- It Comes Down to Math But so far humanity has not been able to eradicate any other viruses through vaccination besides smallpox.