New C.1.2 COVID variant may be highly transmissible, reduce vaccine protection — expert

Published August 31, 2021, 7:47 AM

by Jaleen Ramos

The new coronavirus variant, C.1.2, could be more infectious and reduce vaccine protection, an expert said on Monday, Aug. 30.


In an interview with DZBB, infectious diseases and tropical medicine expert Dr. Rontgene Solante said the new variant has an implication that it might be highly transmissible.

“Mayroon siyang mutation sa spike protein, kagaya noong nakita sa Alpha, Beta, at Gamma. Ibig sabihin mabilis kumakapit doon sa host cell… so ibig sabihin na may implication siya na puwede maging highly transmissible siya (It has mutation in its spike protein just like Alpha, Beta and Gamma. It means it sticks quickly to the host cell… so it means there is an implication that it might be highly transmissible),” he told DZBB.

The C.1.2 variant was first identified in May 2021 and has been detected in South Africa and in other parts of the world including China, Mauritius, New Zealand and Britain, according to a preprint study.

The research said that its mutation is almost twice as fast as observed in other global variants.

“Mayroon din silang nakitang mutations sa parte ng spike protein na may kahawig sa variants of concern at variant of interest na puwedeng mabawasan ang antibody o bisa ng antibody sa mga bakuna (They also found mutations in the part of spike protein that resembled variants of concern and variants of interest that could reduce antibody or antibody effectiveness in vaccines),” Solante said.

Solante, meanwhile, said they are still waiting for additional data to determine if the C.1.2 variant will qualify as a variant of interest or variant of concern.

“They are monitoring it and siguro hintayin natin kung mga additional data sila in the next few days or few weeks, para makita natin kung it is another variant na makahanay sa variant of interest or sana naman hindi doon sa variant of concern (maybe we should still wait if there have additional data in the next few days or few weeks, so we can see if it is another variant that can align with the variant of interest or hopefully not with the variant of concern),” Solante said.

The Philippines has not yet reported any cases of C.1.2 variant so far.