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Epsilon Variant Vaccine Efficacy: Which Vaccines Are Most Effective?

Epsilon Variant Vaccine Efficacy: Which Vaccines Are Most Effective?

These days, a lot of people are afraid of further outbreaks of the delta and epsilon variants of COVID-19. This is why one of the most important questions to ask is if the currently available vaccines offer enough protection in terms of delta and epsilon variant vaccine efficacy?

Read on to learn more about these new variants, as well as how vaccines stand up to these new strains.

Epsilon Variant Vaccine Efficacy: What You Need to Know

Studying new COVID-19 variants is key when it comes to stopping the spread of the virus. This is because as viruses develop new variants, they can become more infectious, and vaccines could have lower effectivity. Researchers found that the epsilon variant vaccine efficacy of the currently available vaccines are lower compared to the original strain.

In the case of COVID-19, the epsilon variant has some significant changes to its spike proteins. The coronavirus uses spike proteins to latch on to the cells inside the body and infect people. As of the moment, the vaccines that we have target these spike proteins, so any changes could mean that they are less effective against the epsilon variant1.

However, these results were only based on studies inside the lab, and not in real-world scenarios. This means that there is still the possibility that a vaccinated person can fight off the epsilon variant despite the vaccine being less effective.

For other variants of COVID-19, here are some of their characteristics2:

  • Alpha – The alpha variant can infect people more readily than other variants, and it also has the potential to cause more hospitalizations.
  • Beta – This variant can also spread more easily, just like the delta variant, and is also more resistant to the currently available vaccines.
  • Delta – This is slowly turning into one of the most common variants worldwide. The delta variant spreads faster compared to other variants, and vaccine efficacy is decreased when it comes to this variant.
  • Gamma – One of the main characteristics of the gamma variant is that the antibodies that can fight off other variants are not as effective when it comes to this variant. This applies to both natural and vaccine immunity.

Why Do You Need to Get Vaccinated?

A lot of people are still wary about the vaccine. In fact, some people believe that the vaccines do not have adequate testing, or they’re “experimental,” so they don’t bother to get vaccinated at all. With the news of lower delta and epsilon variant vaccine efficacy, some might think that vaccines don’t work at all. But these can’t be farther from the truth.

The reality is that the vaccines are well-researched and well-tested, and are one of our best weapons against COVID-19. Even if the delta and epsilon variants are starting to infect people, the original variant of COVID-19 still remains, and vaccines provide a high level of protection against it.

If more people get vaccinated, the better our chances are of controlling COVID-19. You should get vaccinated as soon as you can with the vaccine that is available to you. All of the vaccines are effective against COVID-19, albeit when it comes to the new variants, their effectiveness can vary.

People Should Still Follow Safety Protocols

Despite being vaccinated, it’s still important for people to practice safety protocols. Vaccines are effective against severe COVID-19, but safety protocols can help prevent people from getting infected in the first place.

Try to stay at home as much as possible, and whenever you go outside, be sure to wear a mask. Social distancing, as well as hand washing, should be habits you practice often as these can significantly lower the risk of infection.

By doubling our efforts to avoid infection, we can improve our chances of finally overcoming this pandemic.

Learn more about Coronavirus here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

KABC: What Do You Need to Know About the Epsilon Variant and Its Risks?, https://www.cedars-sinai.org/newsroom/kabc-what-do-you-need-to-know-about-the-epsilon-variant-and-its-risks/, Accessed July 30, 2021

COVID-19 variants: What’s the concern? – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answers/covid-variant/faq-20505779, Accessed July 30, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 immune evasion by the B.1.427/B.1.429 variant of concern | Science, https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2021/06/30/science.abi7994, Accessed July 30, 2021

EurekAlert! Science News Releases, https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/578802, Accessed July 30, 2021

The vaccines and the variants: Four keys to ending the pandemic | AAMC, https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/vaccines-and-variants-four-keys-ending-pandemic, Accessed July 30, 2021

Will the vaccines work against new variants? | ICSI, https://www.icsi.org/covid-19-vaccine-faq/will-the-vaccines-work-against-new-variants/, Accessed July 30, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Apr 21
Medically reviewed by Michael Henry Wanat