BioNTech Founder: “Highly likely” that its vaccine works against the mutated strain, but it could also adapt the vaccine if necessary in 6 weeks

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BioNTech Says Can Make Mutation-Beating Vaccine In 6 Weeks

Source: NDTV

The co-founder of BioNTech said Tuesday it was “highly likely” that its vaccine against the coronavirus works against the mutated strain detected in Britain, but it could also adapt the vaccine if necessary in six weeks.

“Scientifically, it is highly likely that the immune response by this vaccine also can deal with the new virus variant,” said Ugur Sahin.

But if needed, “in principle the beauty of the messenger technology is that we can directly start to engineer a vaccine which completely mimics this new mutation — we could be able to provide a new vaccine technically within six weeks.”

Sahin said the variant detected in Britain has nine mutations, rather than just one as is usually common.

Nevertheless, he voiced confidence that the vaccine developed with Pfizer would be efficient because it “contains more than 1,000 amino acids, and only nine of them have changed, so that means 99 percent of the protein is still the same”.

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Categories: Vaccine

3 replies

  1. (CNN)Pfizer and Moderna are testing their coronavirus vaccines to see if they work against the new mutated version of the virus that’s recently been found in the United Kingdom and other countries, according to company statements.

    “Based on the data to date, we expect that the Moderna vaccine-induced immunity would be protective against the variants recently described in the UK; we will be performing additional tests in the coming weeks to confirm this expectation,” according to the Moderna statement.

    Pfizer said it is now “generating data” on how well blood samples from people immunized with its vaccine “may be able to neutralize the new strain from the UK.”

    The novel coronavirus has mutated before, and both companies say they’ve found that their vaccines worked against other variations of the virus.

    The statements from the two companies reflect the increasing global concern about a new variant of the novel coronavirus that has rapidly spread through the UK.

    Experts are unsure of the importance of this mutation, yet a number of countries, including Canada, have imposed restrictions on travelers from the UK.

    The United States has not done so, but the White House is considering requiring travelers from the UK to present proof of a negative coronavirus test before arriving in the US, two administration officials told CNN on Monday.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/22/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

  2. (CNN)Michael Worobey, a biologist at the University of Arizona, has seen more than 100,000 different strains of the virus that causes Covid-19. But when he saw the new variant from the UK, he noticed something different.

    “This is the first variant I’ve seen during the whole pandemic where I took a step back and said: ‘Whoa,’ ” he remembers.
    Health officials have downplayed the possibility that the coronavirus vaccines won’t work against the UK strain, but Worobey and other scientists thinks it’s a possibility — and it’s just a possibility — that this new variant might, to a small extent, outsmart the vaccines.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/23/health/coronavirus-uk-variant-vaccines-less-effective-prevent-covid-19/index.html

  3. Large clinical trials have shown that the vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are about 95% effective against the novel coronavirus. Those trials, however, were done before the UK variant started its explosive growth.
    Bedford said he doesn’t believe the vaccine will be useless against the new UK strain, but that it might lower its effectiveness somewhat.
    “It might decrease vaccine efficacy from 95% to something like 80% or 85%,” he said. “It would be a modest effect, not a dramatic effect.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/23/health/coronavirus-uk-variant-vaccines-less-effective-prevent-covid-19/index.html

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