Scientists are working to prove whether the vaccine is still effective in response to the mutation of the novel coronavirus. According to a preliminary study by Pfizer and the University of Texas Medical, the mRNA vaccines of Pfizer and BioNTech may still be effective against new virus strains found in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
The vaccine can still effectively neutralize the N501Y mutation in the COVID-19 spinoprotein, according to a new Pfizer study.
Phil Dormitzer, a viral vaccine scientist at Pfizer, said: “It is encouraging that this vaccine seems to be effective in resisting N501Y mutations and 15 other mutations that have been tested before, none of which has any effect on the vaccine.
What a big impact, this is good news.”
The study was based on the detection of antibodies in the blood extracted from vaccinated people.
The study highlights the limitations of this discovery because it has not yet been tested for all mutations in the new virus strain.
Previous studies have shown that the transmission rate of new coronavirus that recently appeared in the United Kingdom containing N501Y mutations can increase by up to 70%, while up to 90% of COVID-19 in South Africa since mid-November contains the same N501Y mutation, which spreads faster and seems to be more rapid for young people. Danger.
Domitze warned that close monitoring of other mutations still needs to be carried out.” That doesn’t mean that the vaccine will still be effective for the 17th mutation.” He said, “Another mutation of E484K found in South Africa is also worrying.
This new mutation could lead to greater transmission, and there are concerns that it may also be neutralizing antibodies from viral escape vaccines.”
In response, researchers have planned to conduct similar tests to see if the vaccine is effective against other mutations found in the UK and South African variants, and hope to obtain more data in a few weeks.
“Once a major mutation of the virus is detected, Baintech will be able to deliver a new vaccine within six weeks,” said Dr. Ugur Sahin, co-founder of Baintech, at a press conference on December 22.
Dr. Sain said that technically, the advantage of mRNA technology is that it can design a vaccine that completely imitates new mutations of the virus.
In response to the concerns caused by the mutation of the virus, Professor Lu Hongzhou of Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center said in an interview with the First Financial Reporter:
“The mutation of the virus should be paid attention to, but people do not need to worry too much about the impact of the mutation of the virus on the vaccine
because with the current technical route of the vaccine, it has been completely It can redesign the corresponding vaccine for this new strain according to the mutation of the virus, and based on the available safety data
it can theoretically be approved after the first phase and second phase of the clinic without restarting the large-scale third phase of clinical trials.
Lu Hongzhou also said that with the increase of the production capacity of various vaccine manufacturers, the vaccination rate will also rise.” If the vaccination rate can reach about 75%, the epidemic is expected to be controlled.
He told First Financial Reporter, “Of course, the persistence of vaccine antibodies remains to be seen, and regular antibody levels should be monitored for those who have been vaccinated.”
The United States and Europe have approved the coronavirus vaccine of Pfizer Byntech and Moderna.
Moderna founder CEO Stephane Bancel said Thursday he was confident that Moderna’s vaccine antibodies could last for several years.
At present, vaccine manufacturers, including Moderna, AstraZeneca, etc., are verifying the effectiveness of vaccines against the mutation of the virus.
Scientists have called for the newly developed vaccine to provide the same efficacy against mutant virus strains in the United Kingdom and South Africa.