The Democratic Governor has acknowledged the state underestimated how long it would take to vaccinate all the health care workers. Moreover, fewer people initially signed up for the vaccine than hoped, reflecting the growing nationwide “anti-vax” movement.
Will the vaccine remain effective as the virus itself evolves?
This question dominated headlines as new strains of the virus emerged in South Africa, England, and Brazil. Scientists have expressed confidence that the current vaccinations will protect against these new strains, but the virus may continue to evolve. Marion Pepper is an immunologist at the University of Washington. She explained that “even though everyone is obviously concerned about a virus evolving, your memory B cell responsiveness also evolves over time.”
Interestingly, your memory B cells can not only remember an infection. They can randomly create new antibodies to combat a new strain based on similarities to previous ones. Of course, some viruses can evolve beyond recognition — hence the need for a new flu shot every year. While the coronavirus does mutate slower than the flu virus, whether the memory B cells will adapt enough is unclear.