SARS-CoV-2 variants and implications for vaccine efficacy
By Global T cell Expert Consortium
Helen Fletcher, Professor of Immunology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, hosts the first episode in a new podcast series from the GTEC on T cells and vaccine efficacy. In this episode, Prof. Fletcher is joined by Dr Ravina Kullar, an infectious disease pharmacist, epidemiologist and research consultant, to discuss the immunological implications of new SARS-CoV-2 variants. Our experts explain how mutations can arise in viruses, and how viral mutations could impact the host immune response. Prof. Fletcher and Dr Kullar provide an overview of the recently discovered SARS-CoV-2 variant strains, and discuss their potential impact on the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the immune response to SARS-CoV-2, and efficacy of current vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Our speakers also explain how T cell diagnostic tests could play a role in monitoring the protection provided by vaccines. This podcast was developed by the Global T cell Expert Consortium (GTEC), an initiative set up to bring together experts in T cells, vaccines, immunology and public health worldwide, with the aim of becoming the leading voice in T cell research during and beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic. The GTEC will educate on T cells and vaccine development through the release of publicly available educational content, and foster collaborative research efforts to address the unmet needs and unanswered questions in T cell research and vaccinology. This initiative is sponsored by Oxford Immunotec. The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly changing situation: the content of this podcast was correct at time of recording in January 2021.