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Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Effective Against Indian COVID-19 Variants: Study

Published On May 18, 2021, Updated On Jul 07, 2021

As per a new research conducted by US scientists, Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should remain highly effective against B.1.617 or B.1.618, the two coronavirus variants first found in India. The lab-based study is considered preliminary as it is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. The study was carried out by the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Center.

According to Nathaniel "Ned" Landau, a senior author of the study, it has been found that the vaccine's antibodies are a little bit weaker against the variants, however, it may not have a massive impact on the protective ability of the vaccines.

The researchers took blood samples from people who were vaccinated with either of the two shots. Later, these samples were exposed in a lab to engineered pseudovirus particles comprising mutations in the "spike" region of the coronavirus, particularly to either B.1.617 or B.1.618 variants. Finally, the mixture was exposed to lab-grown cells, to see how many would become infected.

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For the B.1.617 COVID-19 variant, an almost four-fold reduction in the amount of neutralizing antibodies was observed. In the case of B.1.618, the reduction was around three-fold. It was concluded that some antibodies do not work anymore against the variants, however, there are a lot of antibodies that do work against the variants.

As per Landau, the vaccines are believed to be highly protective against variants found till date. However, a lab investigation cannot predict what the real world efficacy might look like, therefore further studies are required. 

Landau’s team believes that there are possibilities that newer variants with resistance to vaccines will emerge.

You may also like to read:

Coronavirus Symptoms According to Different Variants

Things to Know About a COVID-19 Vaccine

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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