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Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine effective against UK variant suggests study

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Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine against Covid-19 is effective against the new variant of the disease sweeping the UK, according to new research.

A study whose authors include Ugur Sahin and Oezlem Tuereci, the co-founders of BioNTech, using a synthetic version of the variant found in the UK found that it was as effective against the newer versions of coronavirus as the type for which it was originally designed.

The results echoed results from a study published by Pfizer last week that showed the vaccine was effective against a key mutation found in the newer and highly transmissible new variants identified in Britain and South Africa.

While the latest study has yet to be peer-reviewed, it is said to have been based on a more detailed analysis than the work highlighted by Pfizer.

The UK has been hit by a wave of new infections linked to the new variant with more than 90,000 deaths linked to Covid-19.

Yesterday saw a further 1,610 UK fatalities, the highest daily number so far.

More than 4.26mln people have been inoculated either with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or the AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) /Oxford University alternative.

BioNTech said it will publish shortly a detailed analysis of the likely effect of its vaccine on the South African variant.

The German group added it would be prudent to be ready for virus mutations though scientists say that an advantage of Pfizer/BioNTech and also Moderna’s use of mRNA technology is that their vaccines can be adapted quickly to new threats.

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