Pfizer and Moderna show less efficacy against double mutant discovered in India

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: May 13, 2021, 01:17 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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According to the note, outside of India, the United Kingdom has reported the largest number of cases sequenced as B.1.617 sublineages.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said in its COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update that vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have shown decreased effectiveness against the double mutant variants discovered in India.

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“Potential impacts of B.1.617 lineage on the effectiveness of vaccines or therapeutics, or reinfection risks, remain uncertain. Preliminary laboratory studies awaiting peer review suggest a limited reduction in neutralisation by antibodies; however, real-world impacts may be limited,” WHO said in its note.

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"The resurgence in COVID-19 cases and deaths in India has raised questions on the potential role of B.1.617 and other variants (e.g., B.1.1.7) in circulation."

According to the note, outside of India, the United Kingdom has reported the largest number of cases sequenced as B.1.617 sublineages.

The global health agency cited three studies, all of which are awaiting peer review, that showed that antibodies generated by the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna had a significant reduction in the ability to neutralize the mutant virus and its sublineages.

The World Health Organization has linked the massive surge in coronavirus cases in India to religious and political gatherings. 

Globally, the coronavirus has now infected over 160 million people and killed more than 3.3 million since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 90 million patients have recovered from the infection. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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