Published: Mon, April 05, 2021
Economy | By

NIH Testing Moderna Vaccine Against S. African Variant

NIH Testing Moderna Vaccine Against S. African Variant

The nine strains were sequenced and six of them were confirmed to be of B.1.351 lineage, they said.

Still, BioNTech reiterated this week there would likely be a future need for booster shots that specifically address new variants and that the group was preparing to upgrade its vaccine when needed.

They also released the results of a trial of 800 participants in South Africa, where a new variant of the coronavirus is circulating.

'The vaccine was 100% effective against severe disease as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 95.3% effective against severe COVID-19 as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),' Pfizer and BioNTech said in a joint statement.

"Our findings extend those from smaller studies reported elsewhere and support a potential strategy of providing a single dose of vaccine to persons with a confirmed prior history of coronavirus infection, along with two doses for people not previously infected", said Susan Cheng, Associate professor at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in California, US.

'The information coming from Pfizer-BioNTech is good news with evidence that those enrolled in the clinical trials past year are still protected. The company submitted updated data to FDA showing how much vaccine can be extracted from each vial using different types of syringes. "These data also provide the first clinical results that a vaccine can effectively protect against now circulating variants, a critical factor to reach herd immunity and end this pandemic for the global population".

They said that corresponded to an efficacy rate of 91.3 percent in preventing symptomatic cases "measured seven days through up to six months after the second dose".

In the first in-human evidence of how the vaccine protects against variants, research published by Pfizer/BioNTech on Thursday showed the vaccine is 100% effective in preventing Covid-19 cases in South Africa - where the South African variant is now common. For the study, the team conducted a survey of 1,090 healthcare workers at Cedars-Sinai who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The antibody response in these people remained 28-fold higher even after the second vaccine dose.

"The antibody levels were so high that they'd gone above the thresholds so they had to dilute them".

'I would not be surprised if this is a vaccine that we only get once'. The approach has been tested against other viruses and studies in animals and people show they stimulate a strong and broad immune response.

But he added it will be crucial to see how long antibody levels are maintained after people have had a Covid-19 vaccine.

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