Pfizer has announced that a study on the new South African coronavirus mutation showed that the company's vaccine is effective against the variant, Israel Hayom reported.
In a Thursday morning statement, Pfizer said that its vaccine is only slightly less effective against the mutation than against the original, contradicting earlier studies which were published in the past several weeks.
According to Pfizer, research done in the company labs in Texas tested the vaccine against the three mutations present in the South African mutation, while using antibodies from people who had received both doses of the company's vaccine. Pfizer noted that the research had been done using a genetically engineered virus which included only some of the characteristics of the mutation.
The company is currently preparing to test a genetically engineered virus which includes all of the genetic characteristics of the South African strain. The results are expected to be published in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Pfizer announced that they would begin work on an additional dose of the vaccine which would provide complete protection from the South African variant.
"Every time a new variant comes up we should be able to test whether or not [our vaccine] is effective," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. "Once we discover something that it is not as effective, we will very, very quickly be able to produce a booster dose that will be a small variation to the current vaccine."
Earlier this month, it was announced that the Pfizer vaccine is effective against the British coronavirus mutation.