BRUSSELS, May 12 (Xinhua) — Most of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the European Union (EU) should be effective against the variant first identified in India, an official from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said Wednesday.
Marco Cavaleri, the EMA’s head of Biological Health Threats and Vaccines Strategy, said that messenger RNA vaccines “should guarantee sufficient protection” against the variant.
“Data seems to be rather reassuring on the fact that at least the messenger RNA vaccines would be able to neutralize this variant,” said Cavaleri.
Regarding viral vector vaccines, they are also expected to be effective against the variant.
“We are gathering more evidence from real world data in India, where a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine is in use, in order to have a good understanding to what extent this vaccine is protecting. So far overall pretty confident that these vaccines generally will be covering variant,” said Cavaleri.
Four vaccines are currently being used in the EU after being granted a conditional marketing authorization from the EMA.
The vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna use the messenger RNA technology, while those from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson use the viral vector technology.
Named B1617, the variant has spread to 44 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It was declared a variant of concern by the WHO on Monday. Enditem