Pfizer vaccine 95% effective against coronavirus variant found in Brazil, small study shows

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was shown to be 95 percent effective in neutralizing a more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus that was discovered in Brazil, according to a study published March 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The research team said the vaccine's ability to neutralize the variant, known as P.1, was "roughly equivalent" to its neutralization rates for the original strain of the novel coronavirus. The study was conducted using 20 serum samples from 15 patients two to four weeks after receiving their second dose of the vaccine.

As expected, the researchers also found strong neutralization of B.1.1.7, the variant discovered in the U.K. They said neutralization of B.1.351, the variant discovered in South Africa, was "robust but lower."

The study was conducted by researchers from Pfizer, BioNTech and the Galveston-based University of Texas Medical Branch. They noted that their results were based on a lab study and need to be validated by real-world research.

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