UN warns B.1.617 capable of breaching vaccine

By Easwaran Rutnam 

As Sri Lanka looks to expand the coronavirus vaccination programe, the United Nations (UN) has warned that vaccination is not a guarantee and that the B.1.617  variant spreading in India could breach vaccine protection.  

UN World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan told a foreign news agency that the epidemiological features of the variant, B.1.617 is deadlier than the original virus, quickly transmitted and can often move past vaccine protections.

The Indian variant has already been detected in Sri Lanka together with a number of other variants.

Meanwhile, the UN children’s agency UNICEF said that vaccination is not a guarantee of protection from the virus.

UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Emma Brigham said that just because one is vaccinated does not mean that person is completely safe from the virus.

At a meeting with Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday she said that the public must continue to maintain social distancing even after obtaining both doses of the vaccine.

“Because different variants will come,” she warned.

She said that if attempts are made to return back to normal too quickly it could result in another spread of the virus.

However, she added the vaccination programe will help reduce the transmission of the virus. (Colombo Gazette)

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