UK News

COVID-19: Pfizer vaccine expected to be effective against Indian variant of coronavirus, says BioNTech boss | World news

BioNTech says the COVID vaccine it developed with Pfizer is likely to be as effective against the Indian variant of the coronavirus as it is against the South African strain.

Company chief executive Ugur Sahin said he was encouraged by the recent findings of a scientific paper – adding that his company’s jab was around 75% effective against the variant of the coronavirus first found in South Africa.

It comes as the UK’s medicines regulator approved new storage conditions for the COVID vaccine.

Mr Sahin said the study preview showed that the antibodies triggered in the body by his vaccine were able to fight the strain first identified in India.

He said: “So far we have had the chance to test our vaccine against more than 30 variants of the virus. It has been shown to be effective against the mutations so far.”

The preprint study, which appeared in bioRxiv, found that while samples of the Indian variant were more resistant than previous strains, the antibodies raised by the jab would still “neutralize” the virus.

Previously, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe said vaccines used on the continent – including the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – appeared to be able to protect against variants currently in circulation.

The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now said that Pfizer-BioNTech jab can now be stored for 31 days at normal refrigerator temperature after being thawed.

Previously, the vaccine was only certified to be stored under such conditions for five days.

Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of German biotechnology company BioNTech, is interviewed by reporters in Marburg Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of German biotechnology company BioNTech, is interviewed by reporters in Marburg, Germany, September 17 2020. REUTERS / Fabian Bimmer
BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin is optimistic about the effectiveness of the jab he invented

Dr June Raine, CEO of MHRA, said: “We are pleased to confirm that after rigorously evaluating the additional data submitted to us by the company, we have now approved more flexible storage conditions for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. . “

She added: “Now that the jab can be stored in a normal refrigerator …

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2021-05-21 02:28:00