Both Pfizer and Moderna are testing their respective COVID-19 vaccines against the new United Kingdom variant of the novel coronavirus.
The United Kingdom recently found a new mutated version of the novel coronavirus that has prompted nationwide shutdowns, as well as new restrictions across Europe, which I wrote about for the Deseret News.
Questions immediately arose about whether the new COVID-19 vaccines from companies like Moderna and Pfizer would stop the new variant, or if the virus would slip past the vaccine, according to CNN.
- Moderna said: “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; we will be performing additional tests in the coming weeks to confirm this expectation.”
- Pfizer said it is “generating data” about the vaccine, which “may be able to neutralize the new strain from the UK.”
The novel coronavirus has already mutated in the past.
- For example, back in August, a new mutation of the coronavirus may have been more infection but less deadly, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.
Paul Tambyah, senior consultant at the National University of Singapore and president-elect of the International Society of Infectious Diseases, told Reuters that viruses tend to become less deadly as they mutate
- “It is in the virus’ interest to infect more people but not to kill them because a virus depends on the host for food and for shelter.”