Both of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are likely effective against the coronavirus variant that is rapidly spreading throughout India and several other countries, according to laboratory experiments.
Researchers exposed the variant known as B.1.617.1 to blood serum samples from 15 volunteers with antibodies induced by the Moderna vaccine, 10 volunteers with antibodies after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and 24 people with antibodies after recovering from COVID-19.
In a paper published on bioRxiv ahead of peer review, the research team found the India variant to be 6.8-fold more resistant to antibody neutralization in an all three groups.
“Despite this, a majority of the sera from convalescent individuals and all sera from vaccinated individuals were still able to neutralize the B.1.617.1 variant,” they said.
The variant may continue to evolve, researchers noted, and it will be important to monitor how additional mutations affect vaccine efficacy.