London [UK], February 2 (ANI/Sputnik): Not administering the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus on time may result in some elderly people contracting the South African mutated variant, according to lab test results obtained by the Cambridge University researchers.
"The preliminary data, which have yet to be peer-reviewed and relate to only a small number of patients, also suggest that a significant proportion of over-eighty olds may not be sufficiently protected against infection until they have received their second dose of the vaccine," researchers said in a statement published on the university's website on Tuesday.
At the same time, the study notes that the vaccine is likely to be effective against the UK COVID-19 variant B1.1.7.
Researchers at the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease used blood samples from 26 volunteers, who had received their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks in advance, to see the number of antibodies developed after receiving the shot. The age range was 29 to 89 years.
"Of particular concern, though, is the emergence of the E484K [South African] mutation, which so far has only been seen in a relatively small number of individuals. Our work suggests the vaccine is likely to be less effective when dealing with this mutation," Ravindra Gupta, the co-author of the study, said.
The new strain was registered in South Africa in October 2020. According to the researches, this variant is more contagious; however, there is no evidence yet if it affects the severity of illness or mortality. As for the resistance to vaccines, the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech developers confirmed that their vaccines create immunity to new strains. (ANI/Sputnik)