A laboratory study by Pfizer Inc. / BioNotech suggests that the company’s current COVID-19 vaccine may produce a significantly less robust antibody response against the South Africa version of the coronovirus.

According to in vitro studies Published In the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), laboratory results indicated a “decrease in the neutralization of the virus”.

“This finding is consistent with recent reports of the variant SARS-CoV-2 being neutralized,” Pfizer wrote in a news release published on Wednesday.

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The researchers analyzed the blood of those who took the Pfizer coronovirus vaccine and identified a two-thirds reduction in the level of neutralization of the COVID-19 antibody for the South Africa version.

This was compared to the most common type of virus prevalent in America.

Researchers at Pfizer and BioNtech said it is unclear what effect the reduced immune response in the South Africa version has on the overall protection of the vaccine from the virus.

The researchers wrote, “It is unclear what effect will be due to the B-1.351 lineage of BOT162 B2-SAR-COV-2 on approximately two-thirds of BNT 162 B2-colloid protection.”

Despite the results of an in vitro lab test, the company stated that there is still no clinical evidence from human trials that the South African mutation impairs the overall protection of the vaccine.

The company said it is currently investing and is embroiled in negotiations with regulators to be prepared for the possibility that the COVID-19 strain could significantly reduce the effectiveness of its outgoing vaccines.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.