The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines appear to protect against Covid variants B.1.617 and B.1.618 first identified in India, researchers have reported in a new pre-print paper, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, reported CNN.
Based on lab experiments, involving cell cultures, the B.1.617 and B.1.618 variants seem to be partially resistant to the antibodies elicited by vaccination.
“Thus, there is a good reason to believe that vaccinated individuals will remain protected against the B.1.617 and B.1.618 variants,” the researchers from New York University wrote in their paper. But more research is needed to determine just how effective the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are against those variants in the real world.
The new research involved serum samples collected from eight people who recovered from Covid-19, six people fully vaccinated with Moderna’s vaccine. The researchers analyzed in lab experiments how the serum samples neutralized lentiviruses – a type of retrovirus – equipped with the same mutations as the B.1.617 and B.1.618 coronavirus variants.