Coronavirus mutations pose challenge to vaccine makers

Coronavirus mutations pose challenge to vaccine makers

Scientists have warned that more research is needed to determine whether the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be effective in coping with the coronavirus variant detected in Britain after studies offered conflicting results.

The spread of the variant – identified as B117 – across the globe has raised concerns that current vaccines, which are based on the original strain identified in Wuhan, may not work on mutations.

Besides the B117 variant, another strain known as 501Y.V2 has also been isolated by researchers in South Africa.

The emergence of these new strains has spurred scientists into looking at their behaviour and assessing whether they would compromise existing vaccines.

One study conducted by Cambridge and other British universities examined 28 elderly people who have been given the vaccine.