US-approved vaccines effective against B1617 variant of Covid-19: US health official

PTI Washington | Updated on May 13, 2021

WHO classified the B1617 SARS-CoV-2 variant, and confirmed that the variant was first detected in India

Covid-19 vaccines approved by the United States such as Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson have effectiveness against the B1617 variant of the virus that is predominant in India, which is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks of the pandemic, a top American health official said.

The observation is based on the latest data about the variant and the three major vaccines approved by the United States, said Dr Francis Collins, Director of National Institute of Science.

“The data is coming in, and it looks very encouraging that the US-approved vaccines, the Pfizer, the Moderna, the J&J, do have effectiveness against this variant called B1617,” Collins told the media.

“It's a little less effective in that case than some of the others, but it looks like it ought to be good enough to make Americans protected. And that's really a good thing to hear,” he said in response to a question.

Early this week, the World Health Organization classified the B1617 SARS-CoV-2 variant, which was first detected in India, as a variant of concern. The WHO said that evidence showed B1617 was more transmissible.

Published on May 13, 2021

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