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Coronavirus live news: Pfizer vaccine works on Brazil variant; US airlines ask Biden to back Covid travel guidelines

China’s Sinovac jab also effective against Brazil variant, early data suggests; deaths in Italy pass 100,000; vaccinated Americans allowed to meet indoors

The Covid vaccine from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE was able to neutralise a new variant of the coronavirus spreading rapidly in Brazil, according to a laboratory study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Monday.

Reuters: Blood taken from people who had been given the vaccine neutralised an engineered version of the virus that contained the same mutations carried on the spike portion of the highly contagious P.1 variant first identified in Brazil, the study conducted by scientists from the companies and the University of Texas Medical Branch found.

The scientists said the neutralising ability was roughly equivalent the vaccine’s effect on a previous less contagious version of the virus from last year.

The spike, used by the virus to enter human cells, is the primary target of many Covid vaccines.

In previously published studies, Pfizer had found that its vaccine neutralised other more contagious variants first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, although the South African variant may reduce protective antibodies elicited by the vaccine.

Pfizer has said it believes its current vaccine is highly likely to still protect against the South African variant. However, the drugmaker is planning to test a third booster dose of their vaccine as well as a version retooled specifically to combat the variant in order to better understand the immune response.

Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Sullivan.

I’ll be bringing you the latest developments as they happen for the next few hours. I will also be posting some fun stories (headless slugs; are daddy long legs poisonous) to give everyone a much-needed break.

Continue reading…

Read the original article at The Guardian

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