Pfizer-BioNTech shot likely protects against UK variant
According to laboratory tests, the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech probably protects against the more contagious variant of the virus that was discovered in Britain and now spreads around the world.
Researchers took blood samples from 16 people who received the vaccine and exposed the blood to a synthetic virus, or pseudovirus, designed to find ten mutations in the British variant.
The antibodies developed in response to the vaccine effectively neutralized the pseudovirus, according to a report posted on bioRxiv on Tuesday before the peer review.
“This makes it very unlikely that the British variant will escape the protection afforded by the vaccine,” said Jonathan Stoye, a virus scientist at the Francis Crick Institute in Britain.
Similar experiments are needed with the more concerned variant that was first found in South Africa, he suggested. AstraZeneca, Moderna and CureVac are also testing whether their respective vaccines will protect against the rapidly spreading variants.