New Findings on COVID-19 501Y.V2 Variant

Written by on 3 March, 2021

By: Lindelani Mbatha

Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande says government is committed to continue investing in genomics.

This is the study of a person’s genes, including interactions of those genes with each other and with the person’s environment.

The minister, along with his health counterpart, Zweli Mkhize, have been virtually briefing media on the latest scientific results on COVID-19 variants.

A genomics team, led by the KZN Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) has found that people infected with the new variant, generate immune responses that offers them protection against other Coronavirus variants.

Government has since made R25 million available to KRISP to undertake more research on the variant’s characteristics.

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Mkhize says the establishment that people infected with the 501Y.V2 variant, generate immune responses that offers protection against other Coronavirus variants is a huge boost.

The minister says they will be engaging with vaccine manufacturers to develop vaccines with this knowledge in mind.

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Meanwhile, Chairperson of the COVID-19 committee Salim Abdool Karim, says if vaccines are developed based on research on the 501Y.V2 variant then there are greater prospects they will be more effective with other variants as well.

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