The coronavirus vaccine by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE has been able to neutralize the Brazil variant of the virus, which has been spreading rapidly in the last few months.
The blood of people who had been administered with the Pfizer vaccine was found to have neutralized an engineered version of the virus, according to a laboratory study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
What is Brazil Variant?
The Brazil variant of the coronavirus, known as the P.1 variant, had been identified last year but it has now made its way to countries including the UK. It is seen as more contagious than the other variants, while heath experts also fear that this variant also beats immunity accrued through past infection. The variant was first identified in Manaus, an Amazonian city. The variant was thought to be twice as transmissible as earlier Covid found in the city.
According to the study conducted by Pfizer and BioNTech SE, in collaboration with the University of Texas Medical Branch, the Pfizer vaccine neutralized the engineered version of the virus that contained the same mutations carried on the spike portion of the Brazil variant.
Pfizer had earlier said that the vaccine neutralized other contagious coronavirus variants identified in the UK and South Africa. However, the South African variant was found to be able to lessen the protective antibodies created by the vaccine.
Pfizer has said its current vaccine can offer protection against the South African variant. However, it has also underscored the intention to roll out a third booster dose of the vaccine, in addition to a testing a version finetuned to fight the South African variant.
Late last month, researchers in the US found a worrying new Coronavirus variant in New York City. Researchers at Caltech and Columbia named the variant B.1.526. They said the variant appears in people affected in diverse neighborhoods of NYC and is "scattered in the Northeast."
"We observed a steady increase in the detection rate from late December to mid-February, with an alarming rise to 12.7 percent in the past two weeks," the team at Columbia University Medical Center said.