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Pfizer Vaccine Can Neutralise UK, South Africa Virus Variants: Study

The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, noted that the vaccine is effective against coronavirus variants carrying the N501Y and E484K mutations

Pfizer Vaccine Can Neutralise UK, South Africa Virus Variants: Study

New Delhi: The COVID-19 vaccine co-developed by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the German biotechnology company BioNTech can neutralise variants of the novel coronavirus that were first reported in the UK and South Africa, a new study suggests.
The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, noted that the vaccine is effective against coronavirus variants carrying the N501Y and E484K mutations.

According to the scientists, including those from the University of Texas in the US, these variants have a substitution of the amino acid building blocks that make up the viral spike protein — the part of the virus which enables it to enter human cells.

They said these mutations in the 501st and 484th positions of the protein’s amino acid molecule chain appeared in the UK and the South African variants, and could potentially increase the affinity of the viral spike for the receptor on the human cell through which the virus enters cells.

Also Read: Coronavirus Vaccine Glossary: 15 Terms To Know About Vaccination

In particular, they said the N501Y mutation may also expand the range of hosts the virus can infect to include mice.

In the current study, the scientists, Pei-Yong Shi and his colleagues engineered combinations of mutations found in these circulating variants and tested a panel of human sera from 20 participants.

They said the sera were obtained from their clinical trial of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine obtained two or four weeks after immunisation with two doses spaced three weeks apart.

When they tested the serum against the coronavirus strains, the authors found evidence of neutralisation of the mutant viruses by the sera panel, with slight variation.

According to the scientists, neutralisation against the E484K mutation was slightly lower than that against the N501Y mutation.

Commenting on the research, virologist Lawrence Young from the University of Warwick in the UK, said the findings confirm previous studies indicating that the Pfizer vaccine is very likely to be effective against the UK variant.

It shows that the mutations found in the South African variant reduced the efficiency of virus neutralisation by 50 per cent but only in six out of the 20 sera examined, said Dr Young, who was not related to the study.

Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, the University of Nottingham in the UK, also noted that the findings are promising.

This is important work and provides reassurance that the antibody response generated by the Pfizer vaccine is able to neutralise coronavirus genetically engineered to carry some of the mutations seen in the variants of concern first identified in the UK and South Africa, Mr Ball, who was also unrelated to the study, said in a statement.

Also Read: Coronavirus Vaccine Explainer: How Effective Is Novavax Vaccine? When Will It Be Launched In India?

However, we suspect that the effects of these mutations can be influenced by mutations occurring in other parts of the spike protein, so it will be important to validate these promising findings using viruses engineered to carry all of the mutations found in each variant, he added.

Due to the ongoing evolution of the coronavirus, the study authors called for continuous monitoring of vaccine efficacy for emerging variants.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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