Pfizer vaccine likely to provide protection against UK coronavirus variant, new research shows


The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is likely to provide protection against the coronavirus variant first detected in the UK, new research shows.

After establishing last week that the vaccine was capable of neutralising the concerning N501Y mutation in the variant, further analysis of blood taken from trial participants now suggests the Pfizer jab can overcome a number of genetic changes present within the virus.

The latest study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, was conducted on a synthetic virus with 10 mutations that are characteristic of the spike protein seen in the UK variant, known as B.1.1.7.

Blood samples drawn from 16 vaccinated participants in prior clinical trials were exposed to the so-called ‘pseudo-virus’, which was effectively neutralised as a result.

This suggests that antibodies present in the blood – produced in response to the Pfizer vaccine – are capable of tackling both B.1.1.7 and the previous form of Sars-CoV-2 that the jab was initially designed for.

The researchers said their results indicate it is “unlikely that the B.1.1.7 lineage will escape BNT162b2-mediated (Pfizer/BionTech vaccine) protection”.