The SARS-CoV-2 virus will only get weaker with time, as there isn't many places left for it to go to evade immunity, a leading COVID-19 vaccine scientist has said.

This according to Dame Sarah Gilbert, the creator of the Oxford-AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine, which is the most widely distributed COVID-19 jab in the world.

"The virus cannot completely mutate because its spike protein has to interact with the ACE2 receptor on the surface of the human cell, in order to get inside it.

"If it changes its spike protein so much that it can't interact with that receptor, then it's not going to be able to get inside the cell. So there aren't many places for the virus to go to have something that will evade immunity but still remain infectious," the Oxford University scientist reportedly told a recent webinar on COVID-19 vaccines, reported NDTV.

When this happens, the SARS-CoV-2 virus will become less virulent time to become like the virus that causes the common cold, she said. However, she did not put a time frame on when this will actually happen.

Gilbert stressed the importance of vaccination to face with future pandemics.

"We must be able to act quickly against any outbreak as soon as it happens, including containing the spread and vaccinating the local population," she said.

It is worth noting that Gilbert refused to patent the AZ vaccine, as she did not want to profit from it. Instead, she wanted to share the science behind the vaccine with anyone who can produce their own vaccine, she had been quoted saying.

The AZ vaccine is reportedly 92 per cent effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and is also highly effective against the Delta variant of the virus.

Source: NDTV
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