The University of Oxford has said existing COVID-19 vaccines may protect against the Brazilian coronavirus variant as the P1 strain may be less resistant to antibodies than first thought.
A study by the university – which jointly developed the AstraZeneca coronavirus jab with the British-Swedish firm – examined the impact of natural and vaccine-induced antibodies on different strains.
The research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, measured the level of antibodies that can neutralise – or stop infection from – variants that are circulating in South Africa, Brazil and elsewhere.
It found that vaccines do not work as well against the variants as against the original strain of coronavirus, but that the P1 Brazilian variant may be less resistant to vaccine-induced antibodies than first feared.
“These data suggest that natural and vaccine-induced antibodies can still neutralise these variants, but at lower levels,” the university said.