The epsilon variant may be resistant to COVID-19 vaccines

Registered nurse Jessica Hack prepares a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The epsilon variant of the novel coronavirus might be resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, creating another stark concern for those who are unvaccinated and vaccinated.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The epsilon variant of the novel coronavirus might be resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, creating another stark concern for those who are unvaccinated and vaccinated.

Can epsilon variant evade vaccine?

Researchers recently suggested that the epsilon variant — which was originally discovered in California and is currently spreading in Pakistan — “is resistant to all available vaccines,” according to India.com, which has been reporting on the variant’s spread in Pakistan.

This is based on research from a University of Washington study, which found that the variant is 20% more transmissible compared to previous COVID-19 strains.

Moreover, the variant has mutations that “give this coronavirus variant of concern a means to totally evade specific monoclonal antibodies used in clinics and reduces the effectiveness of antibodies from the plasma of vaccinated people,” according to the University of Washington study, which was published in the latest edition of Science.

Should you be worried over epsilon?

The epsilon variant is currently a “variant of concern” due to a rise of cases in California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What about the lambda variant?

Earlier this week, a study that was published online through bioRxiv but has not been peer-reviewed found that the lambda variant has three mutations that make it resistant to antibodies created by the vaccine, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

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