Vaccine works against virus variant: Pfizer study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 08, 2021

The vaccine seems to work against 15 additional possible virus mutations, but not against E484K: Pfizer

United States-based drugmaker Pfizer conducted a study on its vaccine’s efficacy against new Covid-19 variants. It claimed in the study that the coronavirus vaccine is “effective” against 16 different mutated Covid-19 strains, say media reports.

According to the laboratory study, the vaccine effectively worked against the highly contagious South African and United Kingdom variants of the virus.

Also read: Pfizer and BioNTech to offer Covid vaccine to volunteers who got placebo

However, the study carried out in collaboration with scientists at the University of Texas, has not been peer-reviewed yet.

This comes as scientists across the world suspected the efficacy of the vaccine against the N501Y mutation of the spike protein.

According to Phil Dormitzer, one of Pfizer’s top viral vaccine scientists, the new strains of the virus, which have greater transmissibility, created fear among people that it was capable of evading antibody neutralisation elicited by the vaccine. However, the company is now encouraged to see that the vaccine worked effectively against 16 mutations.

He said, as cited in the Mirror Online report: “So we’ve now tested 16 different mutations, and none of them have really had any significant impact. That’s good news. That doesn’t mean that the 17th won’t.”

Also read: Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine gets WHO’s nod for emergency use

Dormitzer noted another mutation found in the South African variant called the E484K, is also causing concern.

He revealed that the researchers intend to perform similar tests to check whether the vaccine works against the UK and South African variants.


Published on January 08, 2021

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