Pfizer Covid vaccine is likely to protect against the UK’s mutant strain

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 3:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 3:17 pm
Pfizer Covid vaccine is likely to protect against the UK’s mutant strain (Photo: Getty Images)

Scientists have found that the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is likely to protect against the current mutated strain in the UK.

The data provides hope at a time when the UK is reporting record daily death figures due to Covid.

Neutralising the mutated virus

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The latest study showed that antibodies in the blood of people who had been vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine were able to neutralise a version of the mutated virus.

The study - unlike an earlier study from the University of Texas, which also showed encouraging results - tested all 10 mutations located on the virus’s spike protein.

The result is not conclusive, but is promising news, as scientists continue to closely monitor mutations in the virus, and whether adjustments to the vaccine are required.

UK recorded highest number of daily deaths this week

The coronavirus mutation arrived in the UK late last year, with the country seeing a spike in cases over the winter period.

The UK saw its highest number of Covid-related daily deaths since the outbreak began on Tuesday 19 January, with 1,610 people dying after testing positive for coronavirus.

The results are encouraging news, coming after Israel claimed the efficiency of the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine may be as low as three per cent. The UK government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, responded to the claims, saying studies have shown that from day 10 after vaccination to 21 days and beyond, it was “much for like 89 per cent.