BionNTech co-founder on Wednesday said that testing of the Indian coronavirus variant is underway and he is confident that its vaccine will work against it.
“We are still testing the Indian variant, but the Indian variant has mutations that we have already tested for and which our vaccine works against, so I am confident,” Ugur Sahin, was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.
The remarks came as the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said that the variant found in India could be a factor in the huge rise of infections in the country and has been found in more than a dozen nations.
It said the B.1.617 strain, first detected in India had as of Tuesday been found in more than 1,200 sequences added in the GISAID open-access database “from at least 17 countries”.
“Most sequences were uploaded from India, the United Kingdom, USA and Singapore,” the WHO said.
The global health agency recently declared B.1.617 as a “variant of interest,” but still did not include it in the list of “variant of concern”.
The “variant of concern” means that the virus could be more transmissible, deadly or can kill the effects of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, the new wave of COVID-19 continues to bring a massive surge in infections and death toll in India as the fatality toll went pass 200,000 on Wednesday.
India for the last many days is seeing the maximum number of daily cases than any other nation with hospitals reaching their capacity and patients struggling to get emergency care, oxygen and essential drugs.