Corona Lambda Variant: Peru has by far the highest number of Covid deaths per capita. For every one lakh population, 596 have died due to corona. The next most affected country is Hungary, with 307 deaths per 100,000 people.
There are many reasons due to which the outbreak of epidemic in Peru is so high. These include a poorly funded, underdeveloped healthcare system with too few ICU beds; slow vaccination; limited testing capacity; a large informal economy (some people cannot work); And there are overcrowded housing. The country also had to deal with the Lambda variant. Initially confirmed to occur in the capital Lima in August 2020, by April 2021 its impact in Peru was 97 percent.
Lambda is now universal. According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), it has been found in 29 countries. The report said: “Lambda is the cause of community transmission in many countries, with its prevalence and number of COVID-19 patients increasing over time.”
On 14 June 2021, WHO declared lambda as a global variant of the disease. Public Health England on 23 June called it a “variant under investigation” because of its “international expansion and several notable mutations”. Most of the eight confirmed cases of Lambda in the UK have been linked to foreign travel.
What does the evidence show?
A variant of virus curiosity is one that has mutations that impair things such as transmissibility (how easily the virus spreads), disease severity, ability to evade previous infections or immunity from vaccines, or confusing diagnostic tests. Known to impress. Many scientists speak of an “unusual combination” of mutations in the lambda, which could make it more penetrant.
Lambda has seven mutations on the spike protein, the mushroom-shaped structure on the virus’s outer covering, that help it to attach to and attack our cells. These mutations can make it easier for lambda to bind to our cells and make it harder for our antibodies to capture and neutralize the virus.
But it is important to remember that neutralizing antibodies are not the only tool in the immune system’s toolkit – they are the easiest to study. T cells also play an important role, so a handful of mutations – although uncommon – may not be enough to cause Lambda to completely trick our immune system.
So what evidence do we have that these mutations make Lambda more dangerous than the original corona virus? Very little, it turns out. There are no published studies on lambda variants and only a handful of preprints that are still under investigation by other scientists (peer review) and published in a journal.
A preprint from New York University Grossman School of Medicine looked at the effectiveness of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against lambda variants and found a two to three-fold reduction in vaccine-derived antibodies compared to the original virus. Analyzing this is not a major disadvantage of neutralizing antibodies. The researchers concluded that these mRNA vaccines may be protective against lambda variants.
Researchers from the University of Chile investigated the effectiveness of the Sinovac (also known as “coronavac”) vaccine against lambda variants. They found a threefold reduction in neutralizing antibodies compared to the original variant. The fact that these two studies found partial level inactivation is not minor but significant, as it is only one aspect of the immune response elicited by vaccination.
According to PHE’s latest “risk assessment” (July 8) of Lambda, there is no evidence of a country where Lambda has outperformed Delta. Studies are ongoing, but for now, lambda remains a type of curiosity rather than a type of concern.