MAY 29, 2021
The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is slightly less effective but still appears to offer protection against variant first detected in India, according to a study by France’s Pasteur Institute.
“Despite slightly diminished efficacy, the Pfizer vaccine probably protects” against the strain first discovered in India, Olivier Schwartz, the institute’s director and co-author of the study was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.
However, the study published on the BioRxiv website is still to be peer-reviewed.
Twenty-eight healthcare workers in the city of Orleans were part of the study, out of which 16 received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, while 12 were given one dose of AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine.
There was a three-fold decrease in the number of antibodies of people who had taken the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the B.1.617 variant, but still, there was protection.
“The situation was different with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which induced particularly low levels of antibodies neutralizing” the variant first found in India, the study noted.
Schwartz said that people who got infected with COVID-19 within the last one year and people vaccinated with two jabs of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have enough antibodies to counter the B.1.617 variant.