Laboratory studies of the University of Texas and Pfizer suggest that the pharmaceutical giantâs coronavirus vaccine, developed with German drugmaker BioNTech, can still work against the mutation which emerged in two new variants of COVID-19 discovered in Britain and South Africa.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the study used blood samples that came from 20 recipients of the Pfizer vaccine. The goal is to determine whether the shot would be effective against 16 various mutations of the virus, including the N501Y mutation which has been found in both the U.K. and South Africa variants.
The N501Y mutation shows a minimal alteration on one spot of the spike protein that covers the virus. This version has also been detected in the U.S., as well as other countries around the world.
The study was still not reviewed by other medical experts. However, Pfizer chief scientific officer Dr. Philip Dormitzer said that âit 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.â
“Had the opposite result been found… that would have been bad and very concerning,â said Stephen Evans, a professor from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “So, yes this is good news, but it does not yet give us total confidence that the Pfizer [or other] vaccines will definitely give protection.”
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