Moderna’s Covid vaccine appears to work against new, more infectious variants of the pandemic virus found in the UK and South Africa, say scientists from the US pharmaceutical company. The BBC reports: Early laboratory tests suggest antibodies triggered by the vaccine can recognize and fight the new variants. More studies are needed to confirm this is true for people who have been vaccinated. Current vaccines were designed around earlier variants, but scientists believe they should still work against the new ones, although perhaps not quite as well. There are already some early results that suggest the Pfizer vaccine protects against the new UK variant.
For the Moderna study, researchers looked at blood samples taken from eight people who had received the recommended two doses of the Moderna vaccine. The findings are yet to be peer reviewed, but suggest immunity from the vaccine recognizes the new variants. Neutralizing antibodies, made by the body’s immune system, stop the virus from entering cells. Blood samples exposed to the new variants appeared to have sufficient antibodies to achieve this neutralizing effect, although it was not as strong for the South Africa variant as for the UK one. Moderna says this could mean that protection against the South Africa variant might disappear more quickly. Moderna says it’s investigating whether a redesigned vaccine would be more effective against the new variants. It’s also testing whether giving a third booster shot might be beneficial.
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Source: Slashdot – Moderna Vaccine Appears To Work Against Variants