The COVID-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech looks to be effective against 16 different mutations of the coronavirus, according to a study that has not yet undergone peer review.
As Reuters reported, the study, by researchers at Pfizer and the University of Texas Medical Branch, suggests the vaccine will not need to be tweaked in order to work against a seemingly more contagious variant of the coronavirus that arose in the UK.
The British variant, known as B117, was recently detected in the United States among people who had not traveled to the UK, indicating community spread.
Viral mutations are a typical occurrence and is there no indication that any to date have made COVID-19 more dangerous than it already is. And while vaccines can be tweaked to address new variations, there is no sign that is necessary yet.
“So we’ve now tested 16 different mutations, and none of them have really had any significant impact. That’s the good news,” Phil Dormitzer, a scientist at Pfizer, said Thursday. “That doesn’t mean that the 17th won’t.”