Pfizer and Moderna testing vaccines for new UK virus strain
The two companies say there is no evidence so far to suggest their vaccines won’t work against the B.1.1.7 variant
Bengaluru — Pfizer and Moderna are testing their Covid-19 vaccines against the new fast-spreading version of the virus that has emerged in Britain, CNN has reported.
Moderna expects immunity from its vaccine to protect against the variants and is performing more tests in the coming weeks to confirm this, the company said in a statement to CNN.
Pfizer said it is “generating data” on how well blood samples from people immunised with its vaccine “may be able to neutralise the new strain from the UK”, according to the report.
Pfizer and Moderna did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The discovery of the new strain has sown a fresh wave of panic in a pandemic that has killed about 1.7-million people and infected more than 77.15-million worldwide.
The main worry is that the new variant is 40%-70% more transmissible.
Scientists have said there’s no evidence that vaccines being deployed in the UK — made by Pfizer and BioNTech — or other Covid-19 shots in development will not protect against this variant, known as the B.1.1.7 lineage.
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