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Is Pfizer vaccine effective against B.1.617.2 covid variant first identified in India?

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New Delhi, May 18: The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines remain highly effective against two coronavirus variants B.1.617 and B.1.618 first identified in India.

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According to new research carried out by US scientists, the variants seem to be partially resistant to the antibodies elicited by vaccination, according to the pre-print paper posted to the online server biorxiv.org on Sunday.

"What we found is that the vaccine's antibodies are a little bit weaker against the variants, but not enough that we think it would have much of an effect on the protective ability of the vaccines," senior author Nathaniel "Ned" Landau told AFP on Monday.

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"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.

However, the research is needed to determine just how effective the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are against those variants in the real world.

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