Results from an in vitro study suggest that antibodies elicited from the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine can effectively neutralize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with the mutation associated with rapid transmission.

The study was conducted by Pfizer and the University of Texas Medical Branch to determine if sera of individuals vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine, BNT162b2, could neutralize SARS-CoV-2 with the N501Y mutation. Twenty samples were investigated, all of which neutralized the virus with and without the mutation. The results indicate that the N501Y mutation, which was found in the UK and South Africa variants, does not appear to create resistance to immune responses induced by BNT162b2.

The researchers noted that while these early in vitro findings are encouraging, more data are needed to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine against preventing COVID-19 disease caused by new virus variants. Additional information on the study can be found here.

The BNT162b2 vaccine is administered intramuscularly as a 2-dose series (0.3mL each) spaced 21 days apart. In December, the Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorization to BNT162b2 for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older.


An in vitro study shows Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine elicits antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2 with a mutation associated with rapid transmission. [press release]. New York, NY and Mainz, Germany: Pfizer and BioNTech; January 8, 2021.