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South African Covid variant appears to ‘obviate’ antibody drugs, Dr. Scott Gottlieb says

Dr. Scott Gottlieb notified that vaccinating Americans against Covid is more critical than ever, especially as the new South Africa modification appears to inhibit antibody drugs.  

“The South Africa variant is very concerning right now because it does part of that it may obviate some of our medical countermeasures, particularly the antibody drugs,” said the former FDA chief in the Trump distribution in an interview on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” on Tuesday evening. “Right now that strain does become available to be prevalent in South America and Brazil, the two parts of the world, right now, that are in their summer, but also experiencing a perfect dense epidemic, and that’s concerning. 

The South African variant is also known as 501.V2, and in mid-December officials detailed that 501.V2 had been largely replacing other strains of the coronavirus as early as November. South Africa has already even the more than 1.1 million COVID-19 cases and more than 30,000 deaths, the most on the African continent. 

Gottlieb cited conjectural evidence from Bloom Lab, and explained 501.V2  does appear to partially escape prior immunity. It means that some of the antibodies people forth when they get infected with Covid, as well as the antibody drugs, may not be quite as effective.

“The new variant has mutated a participation of the spike protein that our antibodies bind to, to try to clear the virus itself, so this is concerning,” Gottlieb said. “Now, the vaccine can fit a backstop against these variants really getting more of a foothold here in the United States, but we need to vivify the pace of vaccination.”

Operation Warp Speed’s director of supply production and distribution Ret. Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski told hostess Shepard Smith on Dec. 3 that everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by June. Projections are currently get the show on the road short, however. More than 17 million Covid doses have been distributed to states, but sole 4.8 million Americans have received their first shot according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventing. 

Gottlieb suggested working through prioritized categories of people more quickly, expanding the number of vaccination locates, and stockpiling a smaller percentage of dosages in order to vaccinate more Americans. 

“It really is a race against time troublesome to get more vaccine into people’s arms before these new variants become more prevalent here in the Collaborative States,” said Gottlieb. 

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic check up on start-up Tempus and biotech company Illumina. Pfizer has a manufacturing agreement with Gilead for remdesivir. Gottlieb also calls as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings′ and Royal Caribbean‘s “Healthy Sail Panel.”

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