Early study suggests Pfizer vaccine may work against key Covid-19 mutation in SA, UK variant
- A study by Pfizer and researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch indicates the company's Covid-19 vaccine is effective against mutations of the coronavirus.
- The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.
- "So we've now tested 16 different mutations, and none of them have really had any significant impact. That's the good news," Phil Dormitzer, a scientist at Pfizer, said Thursday.
- "That doesn't mean that the 17th won't," he added.
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The Covid-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech looks to be effective against 16 different mutations of the coronavirus, according to a study that has not yet undergone peer review.
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine appeared to work against a key mutation in the highly transmissible new variants of the coronavirus discovered in the UK and South Africa, according to a laboratory study conducted by the US drugmaker.
As Reuters reported, the study, by researchers at Pfizer and the University of Texas Medical Branch, suggests the vaccine will not need to be tweaked in order to work against a seemingly more contagious variant of the coronavirus that arose in the UK.
However, according to Simon Clarke, an associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, while both variants had some new features in common, the one found in South Africa “has a number of additional mutations” that included more extensive alterations to the spike protein.
The British variant, known as B117, was recently detected in the United States among people who had not traveled to the UK, indicating community spread.
Viral mutations are a typical occurence and is there no indication that any to date have made Covid-19 more dangerous than it already is. And while vaccines can be tweaked to address new variations, there is no sign that is necessary yet.
"So we've now tested 16 different mutations, and none of them have really had any significant impact. That's the good news," Phil Dormitzer, a scientist at Pfizer, said Thursday. "That doesn't mean that the 17th won't."
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