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Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine protects against variants, research shows

Published on 08/01/21 at 11:53am

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the two fast-spreading variants of the virus that emerged in the UK and South Africa, according to new research by the company.

While it is normal for viruses to mutate and change, these new variants of coronavirus are more contagious than the original strain, and are therefore spreading faster.  A recent Imperial College study found that the variant identified in the UK increases the Reproduction number in Britain by up to 0.7.

Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch, whom Pfizer teamed up with, used blood samples from 20 people who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to investigate whether the jab can protect against a mutation.

The researchers found that antibodies from the vaccine recipients were successful in fighting off the mutation found in the two variants.

The study, which was published yesterday, is yet to be peer-reviewed, but Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Philip Dormitzer has said “it was a very reassuring finding that at least this mutation, which was one of the ones people are most concerned about, does not seem to be a problem” for the vaccine.

Darcy Jimenez

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