Lahore, 30th May: Despite less efficacy, the Pfizer vaccine probably protects against the Indian strain of COVID-19.
According to a study by France’s Pasteur Institute, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is slightly less effective but can still protect against the more transmissible Indian strain of the virus.
Olivier Schwartz, the institute’s director and co-author of the study that was published on the BioRxiv website, said that as per laboratory test results, despite slightly diminished efficacy, the Pfizer vaccine probably protects against the Indian variant.
The study was conducted on 28 healthcare workers in the city of Orleans. It was observed that 16 of them had got two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, while 12 had been given the jab of one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to the study, people who had received two doses of Pfizer displayed a three-fold reduction in their antibodies against the Indian variant, but they were still protected against the virus.
The study further revealed, however, with the AstraZeneca vaccine, the situation was different, which included lower levels of antibodies neutralizing the Indian variant.
Schwartz observed that patients who had contracted the coronavirus within the past year and those who received two doses of Pfizer vaccine, retained enough antibodies to protect themselves against the Indian strain, but 3 to 6 times fewer antibodies than against the UK variant.
Schwartz said that the study revealed that this variant acquired partial resistance to antibodies.
It is to be noted that since emerging in December 2019, in Wuhan, China, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has developed several variants which have been named after the places they first appeared, which include South African, the UK and now the Indian variant.
However, the Indian strain appears to be much transmissible than previous variants. According to the latest reports by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it has been detected in 58 countries so far.