FRIDAY, April 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines protect against serious illness and death from the coronavirus variant first identified in New York city, two new studies show.
The B.1.526 variant was first detected in November and accounted for nearly half of cases diagnosed in the city as of April 13. City officials have said the variant may be more contagious and may be able to avoid the immune response triggered by the vaccines, The New York Times reported.
But the two independent studies found that antibodies stimulated by the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are only slightly less effective against the variant than the original form of the novel coronavirus.
The findings — which haven’t been peer-reviewed — are based on laboratory experiments with blood samples from small numbers of vaccinated people, the Times reported.
The studies add to growing evidence that the two