Pfizer’s BioNTech vaccine less effective to Indian variant says new study


The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which is all set to arrive in India, has apparently been noted to be slightly less effective to the virus variant that is widely spread out in India, according to a new study.

In a research conducted by France’s Pasteur Institute, the report has found out that the BioNTech vaccine does not offer the best protection for the B.1.617 variant, but still appears to offer protection against variant first detected in India.

“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.