(MENAFN – Mid-East.Info Du) bai, United Arab Emirates: With 150 million cases and more than 3.5 million deaths, the global effects of the COVID-19 virus have been devastating, especially for G20 countries where it has had such a huge impact on the global economy.
According to Peter Hotez, director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, professor of pediatrics, molecular virology and microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States, wards low-income groups, especially in G20 countries, have been particularly affected. Additionally, due to all the social disruption caused by the pandemic, there has been an overall drop in pediatric vaccinations around the world, which could lead to the return of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Speaking to the audience at the Pharma & Drug Discovery conference at the Arab Health event live and in person at the Dubai World Trade Center, Professor Hotez provided an overview of COVID-19 vaccines and variants around the world.
In the United States, the predominant B.1.1.7 variant (known as the UK variant) has higher transmissibility, higher morbidity and mortality, and affects many young adults and adolescents. This is a simple change in chemistry due to the higher interactions of the virus spike protein with the receptor; this is one of the reasons why the B.1.1.7 variant has become so problematic, ” he explained.
Although the virus neutralizing antibodies induced by the two mRNA vaccines in the United States (Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) neutralize the spike protein variant B.1.1.7 well, he warns of the implications of the second mutation. in the United States, the B.1.351 ZA or South Africa variant and the Brazil variant (P.1.), because the antibodies neutralizing the virus are weaker against this variant induced by the current vaccines.
“The implications of this are that the vaccines don’t work as well, and it also won’t be surprising to start seeing booster shots later in the year in the United States for a third dose of Pfizer-NioNTech or a second dose of the J&J vaccines, which will give you higher levels of virus neutralizing antibodies and longer lasting protection, and help us against some of the variants, âsaid Professor Hotez.
The Houston Methodist Hospital recently reported that the B.1.1.7 variant in Houston, in some places, gets a second mutation, which makes it look like the South African or Brazilian variants. âThis is going to be a problem area for us in the United States and around the world,â added Professor Hotez.
The good news for the United States is that with vaccines working well against B.1.1.7 and the United States reaching around 60% vaccination rates nationwide, cases will continue to decline. The hope is that if the country can reach the 70-75% baseline by July and August, then transmission will drop dramatically.
However, Professor Hotez highlighted the enormous vulnerability in the rest of the world, including Africa, India, many parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America, and even parts of the Middle East. , where vaccination rates are low, underscoring the urgency to do something quickly.
The Indian strain Maharashtra (B.1.617) which grows in the Mumbai region is also a variant partially resistant to vaccination. Since the growth of B.1.617 in India, which now also affects Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, elsewhere in South Asia, three sublineages have been found in 44 countries. We are starting to see these sub-variants going up quickly, for example in the UK, where B.1.617.2 is spreading faster than other imported variants.
“It will be important to collect as much evidence as possible on vaccine protection against this variant,” he said. However, the good news overall is that there is a lot of convergence in these mutations. They don’t seem random, and they seem to converge on one or the other. But as we do boosters, I think we’re going to have to think about what that consensus streak will look like for all of these new variations. ”
Arab Health was developed under the trade fair theme ‘United by Business, Advancing the Industry, with the live event in person expected to welcome 1,500 exhibiting companies and over 20,000 attendees expected at the live event. in person.
In addition, more than 300 speakers are expected to gather for the Arab Health Congress to improve medical practice and ultimately improve patient outcomes. A total of 12 medical conferences will be held June 21-24, nine of which will be accredited by continuing medical education (CME).
Arab Health’s live, in-person congress runs through Thursday, June 24, 2021, while a virtual showcase of the event runs through July 22.
About Arab health :
As part of Informa Markets’ commitment to providing the highest levels of hygiene at all events, the company launched Informa AllSecure – a 35-point guide to keeping attendees and staff safe.
Arab Health is the largest healthcare event in the Middle East and is organized by Informa Markets. Established 46 years ago, Arab Health provides a platform for the world’s leading manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors to meet the medical and scientific community in the Middle East and the subcontinent.
The Arab Health Congress is renowned for providing the highest quality Continuing Medical Education (CME) conferences to health professionals in the region.
Arab Health 2021 will take place from June 21 to 24, 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and as a digital event from May 23 to July 22, 2021.
About Medlab Middle East :
As the largest medical laboratory trade fair and congress in the MENA region, Medlab Middle East, which takes place alongside Arab Health, plays a crucial role in developing the value of laboratory medicine to transform diagnostics. of tomorrow by providing a platform for laboratory industry leaders, including manufacturers, and distributors, to share best practices, showcase new innovations, collaborate and network.
Medlab Middle East is the result of 15 years of growth alongside the MENA region’s largest health event, Arab Health. Entering its 5th year as a stand-alone show, this annual medical laboratory meeting brings together exhibitors and attendees from over 140 countries.
Medlab Middle East will take place from June 21 to 24, 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A digital event will take place from May 23 to July 22, 2021.
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