Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine neutralizes Brazil variant in lab study…


Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine neutralizes Brazil variant in lab study

Reuters / 06:48 AM March 09, 2021

NEW YORK — The COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE was able to neutralize a new variant of the coronavirus spreading rapidly in Brazil, according to a laboratory study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Monday.

Blood taken from people who had been given the vaccine neutralized an engineered version of the virus that contained the same mutations carried on the spike portion of the highly contagious P.1 variant first identified in Brazil, the study conducted by scientists from the companies and the University of Texas Medical Branch found.

The scientists said the neutralizing ability was roughly equivalent the vaccine’s effect on a previous less contagious version of the virus from last year.

The spike, used by the virus to enter human cells, is the primary target of many COVID-19 vaccines.

In previously published studies, Pfizer had found that its vaccine neutralized other more contagious variants first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, although the South African variant may reduce protective antibodies elicited by the vaccine.

Pfizer has said it believes its current vaccine is highly likely to still protect against the South African variant. However, the drugmaker is planning to test a third booster dose of their vaccine as well as a version retooled specifically to combat the variant in order to better understand the immune response.

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Pfizer’s vaccine DOES work against the Brazilian coronavirus variant, study suggests: Second dose of the shot ‘neutralized’ the mutant virus in lab tests

  • Scientists tested antibodies in the blood of people who had two doses against an engineered variant 
  • They saw in the lab that the antibodies were able to ‘neutralize’ an infectious spike protein engineered to be have the same mutations as the Brazil variant 
  • It suggests that the 16.9 million Americans who have had two doses of the Pfizer shot will be protected
  • Pfizer’s shot also appears to work against the UK and South African variants 
  • The firm is still making a booster shot specific to variants, but it won’t likely be ready before the latter half of the year or early 2022  


PUBLISHED: 22:04 GMT, 8 March 2021 | UPDATED: 00:31 GMT, 9 March 2021



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