Researchers are confident that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine will work against new variants of the virus. The mutations, which were discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa, make the new strains more infectious than the original virus.
According to the Evening Standard, the new strains are responsible for up to 90% of cases in South Africa and up to 80% of new cases in London.
The good news is that the results of a recently published study found the Pfizer's vaccine is effective against the mutated virus. Scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch tested the blood of people who already received the vaccine and found that it was still effective against 16 different mutations. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed and Phil Dormitzer, one of Pfizer's top viral vaccine scientists, cautioned that the vaccine may not work against other mutations.
"So we've now tested 16 different mutations, and none of them have really had any significant impact. That's the good news," Dormitzer said. "That doesn't mean that the 17th won't."
Scientists will continue to test the vaccine against new variants and believe they can easily adjust the vaccines if necessary, just like they do for the flu vaccine.
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