Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson vaccines effective against B1617 variant of COVID-19, says top US health official
'The data is coming in, and it looks very encouraging that the US-approved vaccines do have effectiveness against this variant called B1617,' Dr Francis Collins, Director of the National Institute of Science said
Washington: COVID-19 vaccines approved by the United States like Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson have effectiveness against the B1617 variant of the virus that is predominant in India, which is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks of the pandemic, a top American health official said.
The observation is based on the latest data about the variant and the three major vaccines approved by the United States, said Dr Francis Collins, Director of the National Institute of Science.
“The data is coming in, and it looks very encouraging that the US-approved vaccines, the Pfizer, the Moderna, the J&J, do have effectiveness against this variant called B1617,” Collins told the media.
“It's a little less effective in that case than some of the others, but it looks like it ought to be good enough to make Americans protected. And that's really a good thing to hear,” he said in response to a question.
Early this week, the World Health Organization classified the B1617 SARS-CoV-2 variant, which was first detected in India, as a variant of concern. The WHO said that evidence showed B1617 was more transmissible.
The COVID-19 toll rose to 3,51,309 on Tuesday with 2,123 deaths. The Centre said this single-day figure is the lowest in 47 days
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The Union health ministry added that the number of deaths reported in the past 24 hours — 2,472 — is the lowest in 45 days