'At least partially and probably quite': Fauci on Covid vaccine efficacy against variant from India

Published on May 18, 2021 10:24 PM IST

Health experts have been closely following the studies regarding the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines against variants of concern.

Dr Anthony Fauci said that the results are very encouraging regarding protection against the known SARS-CoV-2 variants.(Reuters)
Dr Anthony Fauci said that the results are very encouraging regarding protection against the known SARS-CoV-2 variants.(Reuters)
By | Written by Kunal Gaurav | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said that the vaccines currently being used by the United States would be “at least partially and probably quite protective” against coronavirus variants first detected in India. Citing recent studies published in medical journals, Dr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the results are very encouraging regarding protection against the known SARS-CoV-2 variants.

“The modest neutralization resistance of B.1.617.1 variant to vaccine-elicited antibodies suggests that current vaccines will be protective,” according to the slide shared by the White House Covid-19 response team as Fauci spoke.

“The spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 and B.1.618 variants identified in India provide partial resistance to vaccine-elicited and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies,” the presentation further read.

The United States is using vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, both based on mRNA technology. Health experts have been closely following the studies regarding the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines against variants of concern.

Also Read | Won't deviate from lockdown plans: UK PM Boris Johnson on B1.617.2 variant of Covid-19

Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine showed that it can neutralise SARS-CoV-2 dominant variants which remain susceptible to neutralising antibodies, said Fauci. He added that most individuals vaccinated with Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine maintained binding and functional antibodies against a wide range of variants.

“This is just another example of the scientific data accruing, and as I have shown you here...indicating another very strong reason why we should be vaccinated,” said Dr Fauci.

The B.1.617 variant, believed to be driving the deadly second wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, is the fourth variant that has been classified as a variant of global concern. India on Monday registered 263,533 cases of Covid-19 and 4,329 related deaths, the Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) dashboard showed on Tuesday morning.

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