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Virus mutation does not affect vaccine development in China

Has the new coronavirus mutated? Do these mutations have an impact on vaccine development? According to Zhang Xinmin, head of the professional organization of vaccine research and development emergency project management and director of the Biological Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the mutation of the new coronavirus has attracted global attention, and scientists from all over the world are continuing to track the mutation of the virus. my country's scientific research team specially deployed 4 emergency projects, organized the superior forces of 35 universities and scientific research institutes across the country to carry out research, and continued to pay attention to the virus mutation. Regarding the impact of virus mutations on vaccine development, there have been three academic consensuses.

One is that the new coronavirus has not changed much so far. At present, there are more than 100,000 new coronavirus genome sequences in the global database. Through comparative analysis of nearly 60,000 high-quality new coronavirus genome sequences, it is found that these genomes have high sequence similarity, and the nucleotide sequences between the two sequences The similarity is greater than 99.31%, which belongs to the accumulation of variation within the normal range.

Second, the mutation of the new coronavirus has not had a substantial impact on vaccine development. At present, the antigen design of vaccine research and development at home and abroad is mainly carried out for the S protein of the new coronavirus. Internationally, through the analysis of the genome sequence of tens of thousands of new coronavirus strains, it was found that the sequence of the new coronavirus S protein is relatively stable. Existing neutralizing antibodies against S protein can cover almost all epidemic strains. In other words, a vaccine based on the new coronavirus S protein, if it is successfully developed, is suitable for preventing the currently circulating new coronavirus. Secondly, mutations in individual sites of the existing S protein have little effect on the antigen structure and immunogenicity.

Third, the test proved that the immune response induced by the vaccine under development can effectively neutralize the mutated new coronavirus. Scientists in my country used the serum of subjects in the Phase II clinical trial of the new coronavirus vaccine to neutralize the new coronavirus strains with different mutations and found that they still have a protective effect.

According to sinanews,  the scientific research project team will continue to closely track the virus mutation, strengthen research and judgment, and do a good job of information exchange and cooperation with the vaccine research and development team to provide timely warning and scientific reference for vaccine research and development. 

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