Pfizer/BioNTech say vaccine is effective against UK and South Africa Covid-19 variants

In a recent study, The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine appeared to only lose a small amount of its effectiveness against a virus engineered to replicate some of the mutations found in the recently-reported South African coronavirus variant
Pfizer/BioNTech say vaccine is effective against UK and South Africa Covid-19 variants

The vaccine recorded a high level of effectiveness against the so-called 'UK variant'. File Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer/ BioNTech have said that their product is effective against coronavirus variants first reported in South Africa and the UK.

In a statement, the companies said the new variants were “unlikely to lead to a significant reduction in the effectiveness of the vaccine."

In a recent study, The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine appeared to only lose a small amount of its effectiveness against a virus engineered to replicate some of the mutations found in the recently-reported South African coronavirus variant.

The vaccine recorded a higher effectiveness level against the so-called 'UK variant'. 

The Pfizer/BioNTech study, which was carried out in the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) has not yet been peer-reviewed, however.

The study also examined only two of the key mutations found in the South African variant, but the companies say they are now in the process of engineering a virus in which all mutations found in both variants will be present.

Results from that study are expected within two weeks.

Speaking on Newstalk  this morning, Immunology expert Professor Luke O’Neill said the results were a positive development.

“About a week ago they hinted this it came out that the vaccines would work against the variant.

“We can trust them."

Last week, Moderna confirmed that their vaccine has also had success working against the newly-identified variants.

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