Early Data Suggests Moderna Vaccine Protects Against Virus Variants

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According to scientists, the Moderna vaccine has shown to be effective against different strains of the coronavirus found in the UK and in South Africa.

Antibodies that have been triggered by the vaccine have been able to recognize the new variants in early testing.  These new variants have mutated to be able to infect human cells more easily and have spread quickly in countries like the UK – some scientists believing the strain there to be up to 70% more transmissible.

While the vaccines were made with the earlier strains in mind, experts at the pharmaceutical companies believe the vaccines should still be effective against the new strains.  Moderna’s study focuses on looking at blood samples from only 8 people so far who have received the two doses. It is an extremely small sample size and is not yet peer reviewed, however the data suggests the vaccine can recognize and protect against the new variants.

The new variants have Moderna testing the possibility of adding a third shot or even re-designing the vaccine.  Stephane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, said the company believed it was “imperative to be proactive as the virus evolves”.

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