Pfizer, Moderna testing COVID-19 vaccines against new strain

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Pfizer and Moderna, the two companies whose COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out in the US, are testing their jabs to see if they are effective against the new strain spreading across the UK and other countries, according to a report.

“Based on the data to date, we expect that the Moderna vaccine-induced immunity would be protective against the variants recently described in the UK,” Moderna said in a statement, CNN reported.

“We will be performing additional tests in the coming weeks to confirm this expectation,” it added.

Pfizer said it is “generating data” on how well blood samples from people immunized with its shot “may be able to neutralize the new strain from the UK,” according to the network.

Both companies said they’ve found that their vaccines worked against other variations of the novel coronavirus.

Some researchers who are studying the genome of the UK strain told CNN they have concerns that this variant’s mutations could possibly reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines.

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin
BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin
Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP

“You could imagine some modest hit in vaccine efficacy, which wouldn’t be good, but I don’t think it would break the vaccine,” Trevor Bedford, an associate professor in the vaccine and infectious disease division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, told the outlet.

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