Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine appears to stop variants found in U.K., South Africa
Biopharmaceutical companies including BioNTech and Moderna are rushing to conduct new trials of their vaccines against the new rapidly spreading strain of coronavirus currently raging in the UK.
Ugur Sahin (Ugur Sahin), chief executive of Germany’s BioNTech, which, along with partner Pfizer, took less than a year to approve a vaccine, said he needed another two weeks to see if their vaccine could stop the mutated virus.
Moderna expects her vaccine will also be effective against the new variant of the virus, and is conducting additional tests in the coming weeks to confirm this, the company said in a statement to CNN.
The mutation, known as lineage B.1.1.7, may be 70% more infectious and more dangerous to children. It wreaked havoc in Britain, sparking a wave of travel bans that undermine trade with Europe and threaten to further isolate the island. states.
Sahin said the virus has nine mutations.
While he does not believe any of these are important enough to circumvent the protection afforded by the BioNTech mRNA vaccine, which was approved by the European Union on Monday, he said it takes another 14 days for research and data collection before he can give final answer.
«Scientifically, it is highly likely that the immune response to this vaccine could also deal with this variant of the virus.», – he said during a telephone conversation with reporters.
«The vaccine contains more than 1,270 amino acids, and only 9 of them are changed (in the mutated virus). This means that 99% of the protein remains the same.».
German company CureVac said it does not expect a new type of coronavirus will affect the effectiveness of its experimental vaccine, which is based on the same messenger RNA (mRNA) technology used by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Last week, the company began late clinical trials of its candidate vaccine and is constantly exploring different variants of the virus, which the company says are commonplace as viruses spread..
In the event that a new variant of the virus poses an unexpected problem for vaccine developers, the advantage of mRNA is that scientists can quickly reconstruct genetic material into vaccine to match the material of the mutated protein, while more effort will be required to modify traditional vaccines.
«Basically, the beauty of mRNA technology is that we can immediately start developing a vaccine that completely mimics this new mutation.», – Sahin said. «Technically, we can provide a new vaccine within six weeks.».
Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Patrick Vallance (Patrick Vallance) said a few days ago that existing vaccines were sufficient to create an immune response to a new mutation of the coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday it will convene a meeting of members to discuss strategies for countering coronavirus mutations..