Monday, January 25, 2021
Reductions in the South Africa variant
Moderna: vaccine protects against mutants
According to Biontech / Pfizer, the US company Moderna also certifies its vaccine to be effective against corona variants. The mutant discovered in Great Britain therefore has no effect on vaccination protection. On the other hand, the variant from South Africa is more stubborn.
According to the company, the corona vaccine from the US manufacturer Moderna is also effective against the new virus variants that first appeared in Great Britain and South Africa. Laboratory tests have shown that the two vaccinations lead to neutralizing antibodies against the virus variants discovered so far, explained Moderna. This applies to variant B.1.1.7, which first appeared in Great Britain, and variant B.1.351, which appeared in South Africa.
The British variant had “no significant effect” on antibody levels compared to previous virus variants, explained Moderna. In the South African variant, the amount of antibodies is six times less; but this is still sufficient to offer protection against the virus. But Moderna wants to test an additional booster vaccination – a third dose – as a precautionary measure.
The biotech company is also developing a booster vaccine specifically for the South African variant. The phase 1 study is expected to start soon. “In the event that this virus mutates further in this direction and is still circulating in some form in a year’s time, we think it wise that we have means, such as a booster vaccine, to counter it,” said Moderna President Stephen Hoge in an interview. Moderna assumes that the booster can be given in combination with other vaccines.
For the Moderna vaccine study, blood samples from eight people who had received two doses of the vaccine were examined. Last week, the Mainz-based biotechnology company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer announced that their vaccine was also effective against the British corona mutant.