COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine Flash 90

The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech against the coronavirus appears to be effective against a mutation found in new strains of the virus, a new laboratory study conducted by Pfizer as found.

According to a study by Pfizer and a team from the University of Texas Medical branch, the vaccine is effective in neutralizing strains of the coronavirus that have the N501Y mutation.

That mutation, which has been detected in strains of the virus identified in Britain and South Africa, causes the virus to become even more transmittable than previous variants. It also raised concerns it could allow the virus to evade neutralization by antibodies created by the Pfizer vaccine.

To test the vaccine’s effectiveness vis-à-vis the mutation, researchers took blood samples from people who had been vaccinated to observe the effect of antibodies on the new variants of the virus.

Phil Dormitzer, a researcher for Pfizer, told Reuters that a total of 16 variants of the virus had been studied, with the vaccine found to be effective against all of them.

“So we’ve now tested 16 different mutations, and none of them have really had any significant impact. That’s the good news,” he said, while adding “that doesn’t mean that the 17th won’t.”

The study has yet to be peer-reviewed.

Scientists are also concerned about another mutation, also found in South Africa, dubbed E484K, with research planned to find whether the vaccine is also effective against it.

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