SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Coronavirus mutations are becoming more common, which cause many to wonder if the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be effective.
Johns Hopkins University officials addressed these concerns earlier today.
As COVID variants appear and spread around the world, public health concerns continue to grow. Some wonder if diagnostic testing is still reliable when dealing with mutated versions of the virus, or if the vaccines currently available are still effective in preventing the spread of the virus.
According to immunologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Dr. Gigi Gronvall, viruses mutate all the time.
And rarely do mutations impact a vaccine’s ability to protect us from the virus.
Dr. Gronvall says that for now, the vaccines available to us are still good and testing is still accurate.
But what if the virus mutates in a way that weakens the vaccine?
“If you’re infected and you’ve been vaccinated so your immune system gets to work right away. So it doesn’t prevent you from being infected, but it does appear that the viral load that people have, the amount of virus you would expect in the body if you were to encounter the virus is much less,” Dr. Gronvall said. “You’re seeing a lot less virus in vaccinated people in there nose. So if it’s less virus in the nose, then it’s less virus going out of the nose into the air for other people to breathe.”
Dr. Gronvall emphasized that continuing to follow health guidelines like wearing masks, socially distancing yourself from others, getting tested and proper ventilation are all things that still work in preventing its spread.