Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech published a new study that provides more evidence their COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the UK variant that is believed to be more contagious.
The study, which was published on preprint server bioRxiv and is yet to undergo peer review, analyzed blood samples from eight people in the 18-55 age range and eight people in the 56-85 age range.
The researchers found that the Pfizer vaccine provided "no biologically significant difference in neutralization activity against" the original COVID-19 strain and the UK variant.
Pfizer previously published a study with similarly positive results that analyzed just the key N501Y mutation. The study published Tuesday examined the full set of spike mutations for the UK strain.
While it is good news, researchers wrote, "The ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2 necessitates continuous monitoring of the significance of changes for maintained protection by currently authorized vaccines."
There are now 146 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variant in the United States.
Florida has the most cases of the variant with 46, followed by California with 40. 20 states currently have at least one confirmed case, according to the CDC. The actual number of cases is likely much higher as the CDC's count is based on a sampling of COVID-19 positive specimens.
Moderna, whose vaccine has also been approved for emergency use, said last month that it is testing its vaccine against mutated strains, but is confident "that our vaccine will also be effective at inducing neutralizing antibodies against them."
16,525,281 Americans have received their first coronavirus vaccine dose and 35,990,150 doses have been distributed, according to the CDC.
The vaccine rollout comes as coronavirus continues to spread rapidly nationwide. The United States has now recorded 24,256,028 confirmed cases and 401,772 deaths, adding 1,407,234 new cases and 20,967 new deaths in just the last week, according to Johns Hopkins University.