The Pfizer vaccine is slightly less effective but still appears to protect against the more transmissible Indian strain of the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a study by the Institut Pasteur in France.
“Despite a slightly reduced efficacy, the Pfizer vaccine probably protects” against the Indian variant, according to the results of laboratory tests, said Olivier Schwartz, director of the institute and co-author of the study which was published on the BioRxiv site before peer review.
The study involved 28 health workers in the city of Orleans. Sixteen of them had received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, while 12 had received one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
People who received two doses of Pfizer saw a three-fold reduction in their antibodies to the Indian variant, B.1.617, according to the study, but were still protected.
“The situation was different with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which induced particularly low levels of neutralizing antibodies” the Indian variant, according to the study.
Patients who had had COVID-19 in the past year and people vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer retained enough antibodies to be protected against the Indian variant, but three to six times fewer antibodies than against the variant British, said Schwartz.
The study shows that “this variant … has acquired partial resistance to antibodies,” said Schwartz.
Since its first appearance in late 2019 in China, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has developed several variants, usually named for places where it first appeared, including so-called South African strains. South and UK.
The variant first detected in India appears to be much more transmissible than previous variants.
It has now been officially registered in 53 territories, according to a report from the World Health Organization.
In an attempt to curb its spread, France and Germany have reintroduced stricter rules on arrivals from affected countries, including the United Kingdom.
Delphine Planas et al, Reduced sensitivity of the infectious variant of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 to monoclonal antibodies and sera from convalescent and vaccinated individuals, BioRxiv (2021). DOI : 10.1101/2021.05.26.445838
© 2021 AFP
This document is subject to copyright. Other than fair use for private study or research purposes, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for information only.