German biotechnology company, BioNTech, said that a preliminary study showed that its Covid-19 vaccine worked against a key mutation in the coronavirus, which had been reported in South Africa.
The new strain of Covid-19 has also been found in the UK and is believed to potentially be more contagious than old coronavirus variants.
According to a statement by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Friday: “BioNTech SE announced results from an in vitro study conducted by Pfizer and the University of Texas Medical Branch that shows the antibodies from people who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine effectively neutralise SARS-CoV-2 with a key mutation that is also found in two highly transmissible strains.”
The biotechnology company said in a statement that coronavirus variants “have multiple mutations in their spike or S glycoproteins, which are key targets of virus neutralising antibodies”.
“The antibodies found in people who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine effectively neutralise SARS-CoV-2,” the company said.
Even though the findings from the experiment were limited, this still indicated that the key N501Y mutation, found in the emerging UK and South Africa variants, did not create resistance to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine-induced immune responses, explained the researchers.
“Further data is needed to monitor the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing Covid-19 caused by new virus variants,” they said.
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Compiled by Reitumetse Makwea