Covid-19 vaccine update: Here’s a piece of good news in the New Year. Even though the new Covid-19 virus strain from the UK is threatening new curbs across the world due to its higher transmission capabilities, Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is found to be effective against the UK variant coronavirus, according to a study.
The laboratory study was conducted by Pfizer and scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch. According to the study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech seems effective in neutralizing mutation in UK variant coronavirus with the so-called N501Y mutation of the spike protein, a report by Reuters said.
“It is encouraging” Reuters quoted Phil Dormitzer, one of Pfizer’s top viral vaccine scientists, as saying. “The vaccine appears effective against the mutation, as well as 15 other mutations the company has previously tested against,” he said.
Dormitzer said they have tested 16 different mutations so far. The good news is “none of them have really had any significant impact.”
He also said he is also concerned about the South African variant of Coronavirus.
It may be noted that after the new strain of Covid-19 detected in the UK, many countries had banned flights to and from the UK as the new variant has over 72% higher transmission capability. Though some countries have now allowed travel to and from the UK, with stricter Covid regulation, the threat still remains.
On Wednesday, Pfizer got conditional authorization approval from the executive commission of the European Union for its Covid-19 vaccine, which the American drug company has developed in collaboration with BioNTech. The US, UK, Canada, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia have already approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use against Covid-19.