Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine appears effective against mutation in new coronavirus variants

Saturday, 09 Jan, 2021

The Southeast Asian nation has agreed to buy 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and is in talks with the firm and others including Moderna, J&J, Sinovac and Russia's Gamaleya Institute to secure more to cover 83% of its population.

"The experiment described takes blood serum from volunteers immunised with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and shows that it has equal ability to block one of the important mutations in the two concerning variant virus forms, as it does to block the original virus".

Pfizer researchers say laboratory testing shows that mutation doesn't block the vaccine.

The mutation could be responsible for greater transmissibility and there had been concern it could also make the virus escape antibody neutralization elicited by the vaccine, said Phil Dormitzer, one of Pfizer's top viral vaccine scientists.

The research has yet to be peer-reviewed, but experts expressed cautious optimism at the findings.

New research into the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine suggests it can protect against a mutation found in two highly contagious variants of the coronavirus that erupted in Britain and South Africa, reported the Associated Press.

The results indicated there was no reduction in neutralization activity against the virus bearing the Y501 spike, according to the study. "That's the good news", he said.

Asked about Russia's Sputnik V vaccine and reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was open to producing it in the EU, von der Leyen emphasised the strict vetting procedures of the European Medicines Agency.

The UK has approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna, which proved 94% effective in late-stage trials in November.

"This vaccine will save lives once doses become available, but it is crucial we all continue to follow the rules to protect each other until enough people have been protected".

In total, 33 countries and four USA states have identified the variant, among them California, Colorado, Florida and NY, according to officials.

The Moderna vaccine, an RNA vaccine like Pfizer's, injects part of the virus's genetic code in order to provoke an immune response.

"As for all medicines, we will closely monitor data on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine to ensure ongoing protection of the European Union public".

Manchester City confirmed three more cases on Wednesday, having already had to do without six infected players for their Premier League victory at Chelsea last weekend.

Nadhim Zahawi, vaccine deployment minister, said: "The NHS is pulling out all the stops to vaccinate those most at risk as quickly as possible, with over 1,000 vaccination sites live across the United Kingdom by the end of the week to provide easy access to everyone, regardless of where they live".

So far, the vaccine has worked against 16 different mutations. It has already spread, however, through several states.