June 19, 2021

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Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective against B1617 and B1618 variant strains

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A preliminary laboratory-based study was conducted by NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center. Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines believed to remain highly effective in dealing with two variants of B1617 and B1618.

A new study by American scientists found that Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines are believed to remain highly effective in dealing with two variants of coronavirus strains B1617 and B1618.

This preliminary laboratory-based study was conducted by NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center; this research has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Nathaniel “Ned” Landau, who wrote the research report, told AFP on Monday (May 17): “We found that the vaccine’s antibodies are slightly weaker against the mutant strain, but not enough to make us think it will It has a great impact on the protective ability of the vaccine.”

Researchers first draw blood from people who have been vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Currently, more than 150 million Americans have been vaccinated with these two vaccines. The researchers then exposed the sample to an engineered pseudoviral particle containing a variant in the “spike” area of ​​the coronavirus. This variant is unique to the B1617 or B1618 variant and was first discovered in India. Finally, the researchers exposed the mixture to cells grown in the laboratory to see how many would become infected.

For B1617, the researchers found that the number of neutralizing antibodies was reduced by almost four times, while for B1618, the amount of neutralizing antibodies was reduced by about three times. Neutralizing antibodies are Y-shaped proteins created by the immune system to prevent pathogens from invading cells.

Landau said: “In other words, some antibodies no longer work on the variant, but you still have a lot of antibodies that work on the variant.” He said that the researchers believe that there are enough antibodies to make the vaccine highly protective. He explained that this is because the overall level is still much higher than the level found in samples collected from people who have recovered from an early infection with an unmutated virus.

However, the researchers said that they do not rule out the possibility that new variants that are more resistant to the vaccine will appear.

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