Today’s Solutions: May 25, 2024

As scientists marveled at the incredible efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, their only concern was how these vaccines would stand up against more contagious variants of the disease. Many are breathing a small sigh of relief as a new study finds that current Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines effectively prevent serious Covid-19 illness, even against the prevalent variant circulating New York. 

Although studies have found that current vaccines are slightly less effective against the South African variant, they are still highly effective and completely effective against the New York and British variant, also called the Eek variant. Nathan Landau, a virologist at N.Y.U.’s Grossman School of Medicine who led the study told The New York Times, “The take-home message is that the vaccines are going to work against the New York variant and the South African variant and the U.K. variant.”

To come to this conclusion, researchers took blood samples from vaccinated people to compare their responses in relation to new variants. Variants change the shape of the virus, making it more difficult for antibodies to target it, but what researchers have found is that neutralizing antibodies from vaccinated people were more successful in thwarting the virus than those from people who developed antibodies from being sick with Covid-19. 

This is an optimistic analysis for current vaccine options and even more of an incentive to encourage vaccinations in the US and expand vaccine access in other countries. 

Original study

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