Vietnam health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said on Saturday the country has detected a new variant of the coronavirus, a mix of the Indian and UK Covid-19 variants that spreads quickly by air, online newspaper VnExpress reported.
“Vietnam has uncovered a new Covid-19 variant combining characteristics of the two existing variants first found in India and the UK,” Nguyen Thanh Long said.
Long said Vietnam would soon publish genome data of the newly identified variant, which he said was more transmissible than the previously known types.
Pfizer jab less effective, but protects from B.1.617
The Pfizer vaccine is slightly less effective but appears to still protect against the Covid variant of the virus found in India (B.1.617), according to a study by France’s Pasteur Institute.
“Despite slightly diminished efficacy, the Pfizer vaccine probably protects” against the variant found in India”, according to laboratory test results, said Olivier Schwartz, the institute’s director and co-author of the study that was published on the BioRxiv website ahead of peer review.
People who had received two doses of Pfizer saw a three-fold reduction in their antibodies against the variant B.1.617, according to the study, but were still protected.