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Reuters reported on Thursday that a report describing a new study showed that Pfizer’s vaccine can effectively neutralize variants with the N501Y mutation, which appears in variant B.1.1.7 in South Africa and the UK. The research has not yet been peer-reviewed, but it can be found on the preprint archive bioRxiv.
Larissa Labzin, an immunologist at the University of Queensland, said: “This is preliminary, but it definitely shows that the vaccine can also combat these mutations.”
Coronaviruses continue to mutate as they spread from person to person, and in most cases will not change the virus significantly. However, a small number of mutations, including those in the B.1.1.7 strain, seem to make the virus spread faster. These changes occur in the spikes of viruses, which are an important protein that allows viruses to enter and hijack human cells.
When the more communicative news of B.1.1.7 broke out first, there was reason to be cautious. The new data was originally provided by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a British press conference on December 19.It’s too early to say how mutations might change the characteristics of the virus. In short, we need more data.
Importantly, as Johnson pointed out in his paper, the new variant does not seem to be more deadly. He said: “There is no evidence that this variant will cause more severe disease or higher mortality, but it is really easy to spread.” However, scientists are disturbed by the potential of this variant to evade our current vaccine.
They obtained antibodies from people who had been immunized with the vaccine and checked whether these antibodies could still block the new variants, and their spike protein had undergone major changes
But in the following weeks, this variant has appeared in many places around the world, including the United States and Australia, where it violated the hotel quarantine system and forced the city of Brisbane to lock up immediately for three days. Growing concerns are spreading around the world, and many countries have increasingly scrutinized their borders or banned them from entering the ranks of British travelers.
To test the current vaccine’s ability to target new variants, Pfizer used sera from 20 people who received the vaccine. The serum contains antibodies against the vaccine, which can be tested in the laboratory against viruses with different mutations. The interim results look good.
Phil Dormitzer, a virus vaccine scientist at Pfizer, told Reuters: “As a result, we have now tested 16 different mutations, and none of them have had a noticeable effect. This is a good news.”
“This does not mean that the seventeenth will not.”
Labzin said that testing other aspects of the immune response is crucial, such as how specific white blood cells respond to variant infections after vaccination. Other mutations in the variant will also be checked.
She said: “The mutation in the spike protein is not just the mutation they tested in this variant, but it is definitely positive news.”
If variants mutate in this way and start to weaken the effectiveness of current vaccines, then we don’t have to shrink all the way. This is due to the “plug and play” nature of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. These vaccines use mRNA and can be “recoded” within a few months to combat new variants.But although, Never tried this before.
The information contained in this article is for educational and information purposes only, and is not intended as health or medical advice. If you have any questions about medical conditions or health goals, be sure to consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider.