A new study carried out by researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) found that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is moderately or less efficacious against the South African variant.
However, the authors of the study also noted that the vaccine can neutralise the British variant and the wild-type strain of the novel coronavirus.
DrRan Taube, Principal Investigator, Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, said in the study: “Our findings show that future variants could necessitate a modified vaccine as the virus mutates to increase its infectivity.”
For the study, the BGU researchers examined the vaccine effectiveness against the original viral strain, the British and the South African variants. They also analysed strains that harbour combined changes in the viral spike.
Dr Taube and his team also evaluated neutralising antibody levels following administration of one and two vaccine doses.
Their findings suggested that the Pfizer vaccine provided optimal protection when compared with the levels observed in recovered patients.
The researchers are currently studying other Covid-19 variants in circulation, especially those mutations that could possibly compromise the vaccine.
The study was published in the journal, Cell Host and Microbe.