Almost two years after the introduction of SARS-CoV-2, it has become clear that the virus is unlikely to disappear any time soon. It is also clear that the virus mutates, resulting in specific variants of SARS-CoV-2. The exact implications of these variants are being investigated but it is likely that they have a selective advantage over previously circulating variants. It is possible that SARS-CoV-2 will mutate in the coming years to such an extent that existing vaccines do not offer sufficient protection against hospitalizations in the general population. At present, the protection of current vaccines against infection is observed to be reduced by the emergence of variants but remains high against hospitalizations and severe disease. Booster vaccinations are currently advised for specific risk groups where the regular vaccination schedule leads to an insufficient immune response, and are being considered for people in old age where the vaccine effectiveness is lower.
|Translated title of the contribution||Mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome: the emergence of variants and the impact on vaccines|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Nov 2021|