WHO: Pfizer, other COVID-19 vaccines should be effective against UK, South Africa variants

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2021 01:22 PM

MANILA — The World Health Organization on Monday said current evidence shows that COVID-19 vaccines under development should be effective against the new variants.

“They (scientists) confirm that the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine appears to give adequate protection against…the UK variant,” WHO Country Representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe said during a senate hearing on vaccines. 

“The evidence now points to continued effectivity of the [Pfizer] vaccine,” he added.

Abeyasinghe said that while the new COVID-19 variant first detected in the United Kingdom and the other one found in South Africa have mutations in the spike area of the virus, “the multiple modes of immunogenicity in various vaccines” would make them still effective against the said variants.

A BBC report recently cited a laboratory study from the University of Texas - Medical Branch showing that blood from patients vaccinated with the Pfizer shot was able to “take out the new mutation.”

However, the scientists said the multiple mutations in the variants may still help the virus evade a person’s immune system.

More details to follow.