Pfizer vaccine appears effective against UK variant

The Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is likely to protect against the more infectious variant of the virus, which was discovered in Britain, according to results of further lab tests released on Wednesday (January 20).

The encouraging results from an analysis of blood of participants in trials are based on more extensive analysis than those released by the drugmaker last week.

In those tests, Pfizer said a similar lab study showed the vaccine was effective against one key mutation that's found in both of the highly transmissible new variants spreading rapidly across Britain and South Africa.

The latest study, which was posted online but is yet to be peer reviewed, was conducted on a synthetic virus with 10 mutations that are characteristic of the variant known as B117 identified in Britain.

Among the 11 authors of the study are the co-founders of BioNTech.

It provides further hope as record numbers of daily deaths from COVID-19 are reported in Britain, which is believed to be driven by the more transmissible variant.

It also means vaccine development would-- for now --not have to start all over again.

Video Transcript

- The Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is likely to protect against the more infectious variant of the virus, which was discovered in Britain, according to results of further lab tests released on Wednesday. The encouraging results from an analysis of blood of participants in trials are based on more extensive analysis than those released by the drugmaker last week. In those tests, Pfizer said a similar lab study showed the vaccine was effective against one key mutation that's found in both of the highly transmissible new variants, spreading rapidly across Britain and South Africa. The latest study, which was posted online but is yet to be peer reviewed, was conducted on a synthetic virus with 10 mutations that are characteristic of the variant known as B117, identified in Britain.

Among the 11 authors of the study are the co-founders of BioNTech. It provides further hope as record numbers of daily deaths from COVID-19 are reported in Britain, which is believed to be driven by the more transmissible variant. It also means vaccine development would for now not have to start all over again.