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Pfizer study provides more evidence that vaccine is effective against UK coronavirus variant
Will new coronavirus variants require updated vaccines?
Dr. Matt McCarthy, an infectious disease doctor, provides insight into COVID-19 variants and vaccine developments.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech published a new study that provides more evidence their COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the UK variant that is believed to be more contagious.
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The study, which was published on preprint server bioRxiv and is yet to undergo peer review, analyzed blood samples from eight people in the 18-55 age range and eight people in the 56-85 age range.
The researchers found that the Pfizer vaccine provided "no biologically significant difference in neutralization activity against" the original COVID-19 strain and the UK variant.
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Pfizer previously published a study with similarly positive results that analyzed just the key N501Y mutation. The study published Tuesday examined the full set of spike mutations for the UK strain.
While it is good news, researchers wrote, "The ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2 necessitates continuous monitoring of the significance of changes for maintained protection by currently authorized vaccines."