January 21, 2021

Study provides evidence that vaccines protect against new COVID-19 variants

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

A study, led by researchers from Rockefeller University in New York City, finds that volunteers vaccinated with either the Moderna or the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be protected against new variants of the COVID-19 virus.

The researchers tested plasma taken from 20 volunteers who had received both doses of either vaccine as part of clinical trials. They found that the vaccines produced antibody responses as strong as those produced by natural infection.

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The researchers then measured their antibody responses to different mutations of the virus. The variants did allow some reduction in the neutralization potency of the vaccines, but the effects were modest.

The researchers say it is possible that the mutations that emerge will erode the effectiveness eventually, and the vaccines may need to be updated; however, the new mRNA-based vaccines can be changed very quickly.

The results of this study still need to undergo peer review.


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