Studies: Vaccine works against mutated coronaviruses

Shoppers check out at a Cape Town, South Africa, grocery store.
Shoppers check out at a Cape Town, South Africa, grocery store.
Sunshine Seeds via Shutterstock

For months the world has watched with angst as coronavirus mutations have driven infection spikes in numerous countries around the world. But new research published this week in The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine is calming some of those fears. 

The two studies found that Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot largely prevents serious illness from the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, and the B.1.351 strain, originally found in South Africa.

How well does it work? The analyses of COVID-19 data, conducted in Israel and Qatar, showed the vaccine to be 87 to 89 percent effective at blocking infection from the U.K. variant of the coronavirus. It was 72 to 75 percent effective against the South African strain.

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Overall, the vaccine prevented severe illness 97 percent of the time. 

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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