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The coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is likely effective against the new rapid-spreading variant of COVID first identified in Britain, a new study suggests.

According to the lab study, which was conducted by BioNTech in Mainz, the B.1.1.7. variant of the coronavirus is neutralized by antibodies produced in response to the vaccine.

While the large number of differences in the B.1.1.7. variant has led to concerns the vaccine could be ineffective against it, BioNTech researchers say that 16 test patients who had received the vaccine developed antibodies which were effective against the new strain. Half of the subjects were over the age of 55.

A yet-to-be peer-reviewed paper produced by Pfizer and BioNTech researchers claims that there is "no biologically significant difference in neutralization activity" between lab tests from the original strain and the new strain.

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