A preliminary study conducted by the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Center has revealed that the efficacy of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines remain more or less unchanged in response to the Indian variant of COVID-19.
Though the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines developed antibodies were found a little weaker against the Indian variant, the protective ability it has against the variant is still effective, AFP quoted senior author Nathaniel "Ned" as said.
The researchers studied viruses engineered to mimic the mutations found in the Indian COVID variants. The viruses were then tested against antibodies found in the blood of those who had received either of the two vaccines. Although there was a slight reduction in antibody efficiency when pitted against Indian variants, the researchers concluded that more than enough antibodies were present to neutralise the remaining viruses.
However, the study has not undergone the peer-review process yet and cannot be applied to real-life situations although the results are promising, researchers cautioned.
"There's enough that do work that we believe that the vaccines will be highly protective," he added because the overall levels remain well above those found in samples taken from people who recovered from infection with the earlier unmutated virus.
The Indian variant was shown to bind more tightly to receptors on human cells which could mean it is more highly transmissible.
However, the researchers have not ruled out the possibility of the emergence of newer variants resistant to vaccines and highlighted the importance of widespread vaccination at the global level to tackle the pandemic.