Moderna, developer of one COVID-19 vaccine, said it will begin trials for a new COVID-19 vaccine shot that will help offer protection against the South African variant.

  • The new vaccine will be tested in clinical trials to determine if it can defeat the new strain discovered in South Africa, CNBC reports.
  • Currently, Moderna has a two-shot plan that “generates a weaker immune response against the strain from South Africa, though the company said antibodies in patients remain above levels that are expected to be protective against the virus,” according to CNBC.
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Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a press release: “Moderna is committed to making as many updates to our vaccine as necessary until the pandemic is under control. We hope to demonstrate that booster doses, if necessary, can be done at lower dose levels, which will allow us to provide many more doses to the global community in late 2021 and 2022 if necessary.”

Flashback

Moderna said back in January that it would work on an upgrade to the COVID-19 vaccine as COVID-19 variants become more dominant in the U.S., as I wrote for the Deseret News.

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COVID-19 vaccine developer Pfizer said it is working on a third shot to defeat the novel coronavirus, too. The company said it is studying how to make a third booster shot to its COVID-19 vaccine, according to NBC News.