Corona vaccination: mRNA vaccines against virus variants are so effective!

Falling incidence values, vaccination progress and further openings in retail and outdoor catering are the first steps out of the pandemic and back into normal life. But despite vaccinations, caution is still required – corona mutations and various virus variants continue to cause concern for scientists. You can find out here how mRNA vaccines work against corona mutations.

This is how the vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer and  Moderna work  with different virus variants.

Vaccination protection despite mutation: That’s how effective the vaccines are

The effectiveness of the  corona vaccines  generally always refers to preventing a severe course and a symptomatic disease. Infection is still possible despite vaccination. Therefore, PCR or rapid tests can be positive even with full vaccination protection. The risk of a severe course, the risk of infection and the spread of an infection are significantly reduced with the help of vaccination.

However, this effectiveness can be influenced by viral mutations. This is how the vaccines that have already been approved work with the individual mutations.

Efficacy of BioNTech/Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine on virus variants

The   BioNTech/Pfizer  mRNA vaccine shows  an efficacy of 92 to 95 percent against the wild type of the corona virus . How the vaccine reacts to the mutations:

  • Alpha variant (B.1.1.7):  Compared to the alpha variant, the vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer achieves almost its full effectiveness. The mRNA vaccine protects between 90 and 93 percent against B.1.1.7.
  • Beta variant (B.1.351):  The vaccine is also sufficiently effective against the virus variant from South Africa. However, this is less than with the alpha mutation. The mRNA vaccine effectively protects against a severe course and is said to be around 75 percent effective.
  • Gamma variant (P.1):  First results from antibody studies show a reduced but still effective effectiveness against the Brazilian virus variant.
  • Delta variant (B.1.617):  With full vaccination protection, the effectiveness of the vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer is more than 80 percent. The vaccine can also reduce the risk of a severe course in the event of a corona infection. After an initial vaccination, however, the effectiveness is only around 33 percent.

Efficacy of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine on virus variants

Moderna’s mRNA vaccine shows 90 percent efficacy against wild-type coronavirus. How the vaccine reacts to the mutations:

  • Alpha variant (B.1.1.7):  As another mRNA vaccine, Moderna’s vaccine also achieves almost full effectiveness and has a high probability of protecting against the corona mutation from Great Britain.
  • Beta variant (B.1.351):  The Moderna vaccine also achieves a high immune response with the virus variant from South Africa. In addition, Moderna is already researching the further development of the vaccine for a vaccination booster against the South African variant.
  • Gamma variant (P.1):  Initial studies with antibodies show a high level of effectiveness against a severe course. The body’s immune response could also be higher than the antibody studies suggest.
  • Delta variant (B.1.617):  Like the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s vaccine is also said to work against the variant that first emerged in India. First studies show a neutralizing effect.

How mRNA vaccines work

The messenger RNA, mRNA for short, transports the information that is required to build certain virus proteins in the body. These  proteins  are responsible for spreading the virus throughout the body.  The body gets a kind of view of the virus and produces antibodies and T cells after vaccination, which protect us from infection when we come into contact with  SARS-COV-2 . The mRNA vaccine is broken down in the body after a few days. The vaccine does not have a lasting effect on the genome.


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