The current scenario in Brazil, which combines the beginning of vaccination with uncontrolled transmission of covid-19, may turn the country into a "factory" of variants potentially capable of completely escaping the effectiveness of vaccines. This is the assessment of British scientists directly involved in some of the main research on coronavirus mutations.
Researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Leicester heard by BBC News Brazil say that lockdowns and other containment measures are particularly necessary when vaccinating a population.
They explain that it is precisely the contact between vaccinees and variants that propitiates the appearance of "superpotent" mutations, capable of completely circumventing the action of the immunizer.
And, in Brazil, there is an explosive combination for this to happen: vaccination still at a slow pace, variant with the E484k mutation (which dribbles antibodies) and high rates of infection.
Manaus variant may favor anti-vaccine mutation
The greatest danger is in the contact of the Manaus variant, nicknamed P.1, with newly vaccinated people, explains virologist Julian Tang, the University of Leicester, in the United Kingdom.