Both Pfizer and Moderna are testing their respective COVID-19 vaccines against the new United Kingdom variant of the novel coronavirus.

What’s happening:

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.

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Will the COVID-19 vaccine stop the UK coronavirus variant?

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.”

Remember:

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.
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There’s a new COVID-19 strain in Europe, and it’s worrying experts. Here’s what we know
New U.K. COVID-19 strain is ‘already in the U.S.,’ expert says

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.”