Researchers at the University of Washington and Vir Biotechnology Laboratory in San Francisco studied the California strain COVID-19, which was named “Epsilon. In particular, scientists found out how it interacts with vaccines.
Scientists found that this strain has three mutations with spike proteins that attack antibodies, thereby weakening the effects of the vaccine by up to 70%. The mutations destroy antibodies found in Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. In addition, Epsilon can “sideline” those antibodies that are produced naturally in humans after infection.
According to Science Daily, during a study of one of the spike proteins, researchers found that the mutation weakened 14 of 34 antibodies suitable for use in vaccines.
The Epsilon strain was first discovered in May 2020. Most cases of infection with this strain have been found in the United States, with more than half in California.