Infectious Disease

The Pfizer vaccine seems to be efficient in opposition to rising SARS-CoV-2 variants

January 08, 2021

2 min read

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Armstrong and Walke do not report any relevant financial information.

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The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech appears to be effective against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, which are more easily spread than other strains.

Researchers from Pfizer and the University of Texas Medical Department tested antibodies from 20 people who received the vaccine as part of a Phase 3 study against a laboratory-generated SARS-CoV-2 virus that contains a mutation to which the spike protein can bind its receptor more effectively.

Covid vaccination

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech appears to work against variants of SARS-CoV-2 that make them more transmissible.
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The sera neutralized the virus “just as they neutralized the virus without the mutation,” Pfizer reported. The data from the experiment were published on the preprint server bioRxiv before the peer review.

The mutation known as N501Y was found in two emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants that were first reported in the UK and South Africa. The British variant has also been found in the US, and both variants have been discovered outside of the countries where they were first reported.

Although the new variants appear to infect humans more easily, there is no evidence that they are any more deadly, CDC COVID-19 Incident Manager Henry Walke, MD, noted in a recent press conference. Walke said the increased portability means that “we need to be even more vigilant in our prevention efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

“Viruses are constantly changing through mutation,” he said. “We expect new variants to emerge over time. Many mutations lead to variants that do not change how the virus infects people. However, sometimes variants like this arise that can spread faster. “

Gregory Armstrong, MD, The head of the CDC’s Advanced Molecular Detection Program said efforts are currently being made to accelerate sequencing in the US so that SARS-CoV-2 variants can be detected more quickly, including a national surveillance system that was initiated in November and more samples are obtained on this scale. In addition, many local laboratories can detect variants, he said.

According to the CDC, by Jan. 7, nearly 21.5 million doses of the two US-approved vaccines had been distributed and nearly 6 million people had received a first dose.

Moderna Inc. previously said it expects its vaccine to protect against the variants as well, but is doing additional testing to confirm that expectation.

The FDA warned clinicians and laboratory staff on Friday that it is monitoring the potential impact of SARS-CoV-2 mutations on molecular tests, warning that “any molecular test to detect SARS-CoV-2 can produce false negative results, if a mutation occurs in the part of the viral genome that was assessed by this test. “

“The FDA is taking additional measures to ensure that authorized tests remain correct by working with test developers and performing ongoing data analysis to evaluate any currently authorized molecular tests,” the agency said. “The FDA believes the risk that these mutations will affect the overall accuracy of the tests is small.”

More than 21.6 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 365,000 have died from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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