A team of researchers from the University of Turku (Finland) revealed that the blood samples of health care workers vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine effectively neutralize the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the healthcare structure of various countries worldwide. As the pandemic progressed, many new variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged continuously, and thus, creating a tremendous crisis for the global population. In December 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization (WHO) authorized the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in 16 years of age or older individuals in order to prevent COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2. This vaccine is the first of its kind to receive emergency validation from the WHO and the U.S. FDA. This vaccine includes new messenger RNA (mRNA) and can induce spike protein or S-protein specific neutralizing antibodies. Currently, countries such as India, the U.S., the U.K., and others are vaccinating residents against SARS-CoV-2. In this context, it is significant to mention that over 3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered globally till date.
In this study, the researchers from the University of Turku (Finland) studied blood samples of vaccinated healthcare workers who had received both the doses of Pfizer-BioNTech. The researchers revealed that the vaccine is effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants including Alpha and Beta. The findings of the study were published in the journal named ‘Nature Communications.’ The researchers examined SARS-CoV-2 S1 specific IgG, Immunoglobulin A (IgA) as well as the immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody responses and neutralization titers for SARS-CoV-2 variants such as B.1.1.7, D614G, and the B.1.351.
They concluded that after receiving both the doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, high levels of anti-S1 IgG antibodies are produced. They recommended further studies to understand cell mediated immunity and planned to collect more samples based on serum and cellular samples.