Scientists in the United States have found that the coronavirus strain, first discovered in South Africa, reduces the body's immune response by two-thirds when vaccinated with a drug developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, follows from an article in The New England Journal of Medicine.
During the study, scientists were able to reproduce the genome of a virus with mutations first discovered in South Africa. The cells of the virus were contrasted with blood samples from 15 patients who had previously been vaccinated with vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech. The study found that the number of antibodies produced as a result of interaction with the South African variant of the virus decreased by two-thirds compared with those cases when the most common variant of the coronavirus was used.
“Despite the fact that we do not know the exact level of antibodies required to protect against COVID-19, based on our experience with other vaccines, it can be argued that the Pfizer vaccine provides relatively good protection against the new variant of the coronavirus,” TASS reports with reference on CNN, the words of one of the researchers, director of the Institute of Human Infections and Immunity at the University of Texas Scott Weaver.
According to him, the decrease in the immune response by two-thirds can be considered "relatively small in comparison with vaccines against other viruses, which have much more variations in the protein sequence than SARS-CoV-2."
According to the Pfizer company itself, to date, no evidence has been found that the vaccine it has developed does not provide protection against this variant of the virus. Nevertheless, the company assured that if a strain is found that the vaccine will not work against, Pfizer and BioNTech will ask the regulatory authorities to approve the updated version of the drug.
According to Johns Hopkins University, which calculates based on information from international organizations, federal and local authorities, more than 27.8 million cases of coronavirus infection have been registered in the United States in total, more than 490 thousand people have died. The country ranks first in the world for both indicators.
Earlier it was reported that the government of the Republic of South Africa is considering the possibility of purchasing the Russian Sputnik V vaccine for mass vaccination of the population against coronavirus.
By his order on February 7, the head of the South African Ministry of Health suspended preparations in the country for mass vaccination with the vaccine of the AstraZeneca company, the first batch of which, including 1 million doses, was delivered from India on February 1. The campaign was supposed to begin on February 10, but studies conducted in Johannesburg showed low efficacy of this vaccine against the spread in the country of the coronavirus strain, labeled 501. V2. The South African government is now considering alternative vaccines.
The Sputnik V vaccine is currently registered in Russia, Belarus, Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia, Algeria, Palestine, Venezuela, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, Hungary, UAE, Iran, Republic of Guinea, Tunisia, Armenia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Republika Srpska (Entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Lebanon, Myanmar, Mongolia.