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WASHINGTON: The Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines should remain highly effective against two coronavirus variants first identified in India, according to new research carried out by US scientists.

The lab-based study was carried out by the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Center and is considered preliminary because it has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“What we found is that the vaccine’s antibodies are a little bit weaker against the variants, but not enough that we think it would have much of an effect on the protective ability of the vaccines,” senior author Nathaniel “Ned” Landau told AFP on Monday.

The researchers first took blood from people who were vaccinated with either of the two shots, which are predominant in the United States and have been given to more than 150 million Americans.

They then exposed these samples in a lab to engineered pseudovirus particles that contained mutations in the “spike” region of the coronavirus, which were particular to either the B.1.617 or B.1.618 variants, first found in India.

Finally, that mixture was exposed to lab-grown cells, to see how many would become infected.

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