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Moderna study: COVID vaccine neutralizes UK, South Africa variants

Coronavirus

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine is effective against some new strains of the coronavirus.

During the studies, the vaccine “produced neutralizing titers against all key emerging variants tested, including B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, first identified in the UK and Republic of South Africa, respectively,” Moderna said on Monday.

The Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases collaborated on the study, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Moderna said the UK variant has had at least 17 mutations, and the South Africa variant has had ten mutations.

The company is now testing a booster vaccine candidate in hopes it can specifically combat variants.

“Out of an abundance of caution and leveraging the flexibility of our mRNA platform, we are advancing an emerging variant booster candidate against the variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa into the clinic to determine if it will be more effective to boost titers against this and potentially future variants,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna.

The Bay Area has already seen cases of COVID variants.

The California Department of Public Health, along with Santa Clara County and UCSF said last week that the variant is increasingly being identified across California.

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