The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine may be effective against the most transmissible variant of the CCP virus found in the UK and has spread throughout the world, according to a prepress study that has not been independently reviewed.
The discovery of different variants of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus since the pandemic began has raised concerns about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, prompting Pfizer and BioNTech to conduct their own research, which was published on bioRxiv. January 19. .
The study evaluated whether the sera of 16 participants who had been vaccinated in the phase 1/2 trial could neutralize the non-replicating SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses (spike protein) that contain the mutation found in variant B.1.1. 7 from the UK or Wuhan. reference strain.
SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name for the CCP virus that causes COVID-19 disease.
A pseudovirus is a virus made artificially in a laboratory that is used in place of the more pathogenic live virus for research purposes.
The study authors found that « there was no biologically significant difference in neutralizing activity against the two pseudoviruses. »
While the results are encouraging with the study’s small samples, the authors caution that « the ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2 requires continuous monitoring of the significance of the changes to maintain the protection of currently licensed vaccines. »
Scientists have yet to establish, for COVID-19 vaccines, what reduction in neutralization would require a change in the vaccine strain, as for the influenza vaccine.
Public Health England reported (pdf) in December 2020 that they ‘found no statistically significant difference in hospitalization and fatality at 28 days’ between the UK variant and the parent strand of the CCP virus. « There was also no significant difference in the probability of reinfection between the variant cases and the comparison group. »
A person receives the COVID-19 vaccine in Portland, Oregon, on December 16, 2020 (Nathan Howard / .).
Since the launch of the vaccine program, there have been reports of people experiencing adverse events, including death after receiving a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
This week, Norwegian officials are investigating the deaths of 23 frail and elderly patients after they were immunized. All were 80 or older and many with underlying illnesses. Around 40,000 people live in nursing homes in Norway.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency updated its guidance on COVID-19 vaccination that “very frail” people, including those with a terminal illness, should not receive the vaccine.
Following the deaths, Pfizer and BioNTech said they are « working with the Norwegian Medicines Agency to collect all relevant information. »
More than 42,000 Norwegians have received the COVID-19 vaccine as of January 14.
While in the United States, 55 people died after being inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, according to reports made to the federal database, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
Reports made to VAERS do not prove that an adverse reaction is the result of a vaccine, since it is not necessary to show proof of a vaccine injury for the report to be accepted into the system.
People also reported more than 1,300 emergency room visits, 225 hospitalizations and 24 permanent disabilities after receiving a COVID vaccine.
A Pfizer spokesperson wrote in an email to The Epoch Times that the company « closely monitors[s] all reports after vaccination, ”while Moderna did not respond to requests for comment.
More than 16 million people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, although as of January 20, more than 35 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed.