Pfizer and Biotech announced Friday that their Covid 19 vaccine is effective against one of the new infectious mutations identified in the UK and South Africa.
Independent experts say the results are good news, but warn that there are several other dangerous mutations in each of these corona viruses that have yet to be investigated. Therefore, it is possible that one of these variations will affect how well the vaccine works.
“This is the first step in the right direction,” said Dr. John Brooks, chief medical officer of the Centers for Disease Control Covid 19 emergency response. “I hope that the additional work that will come out in the future will be in line with these results.”
The new form, known as B.1.1.7, caused concern for the first time in December, when British researchers noticed that it was becoming increasingly common among people in Cove 19. Since then, it has joined 45 countries.
Subsequent research has confirmed that it has the potential to spread easily from one person to another. On Friday, Public Health England released a new study of B.1.1.7 in which researchers estimate that the variant of the virus is 30 to 50% more transmissible than other forms of the virus.
There have been 23 mutations in the viral sequence leading to B.1.1.7. Of particular concern to scientists are eight mutations that affect the gene for a protein called a spike on the surface of the corona virus. This is because viruses use spike proteins to capture human cells. It is possible that one or more of these will help to attack B.1.1.7 cells more successfully.
One of these variables, called the N501Y, is particularly worrying. Experiments have shown that this enables the virus to attach more tightly to cells. And it has originated in other strains of the corona virus, including a form identified in South Africa in December. The form, called B.1.351, spread rapidly throughout the country, and has so far spread to a dozen other countries.
In the new study, which was published online Thursday and has not yet received a formal scientific review, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch examined whether the Pfizer-biotech vaccine was associated with the N501Y mutation. Worked against They found that in lab cells, the mutating virus found in the antibodies of people with immunizations could not infect human cells. Antibodies attach to the corona virus and prevent it from entering the cells. Despite the N501Y mutation, experience shows that vaccine-derived antibodies are still able to infect viruses.
The companies said in a news release, “This indicates that key N501Y mutations, found in variations in the emerging UK and South Africa, do not produce resistance to the immune response to Pfizer biotech vaccines.” Do. “