Moderna says vaccine for South Africa variant ready for testing

Jacob Knutson
·1 min read

Vaccine producer Moderna announced Wednesday it is sending doses of a new vaccine designed to better protect against the coronavirus variant first discovered in South Africa to the National Institutes of Health for a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Why it matters: The trial is a major step toward producing and distributing a vaccine specifically designed for the South Africa variant, which may spread faster and more easily than the original coronavirus strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The big picture: Multiple vaccine producers, including Moderna, have said that vaccines made to protect against the original strain, while still effective, offered less protection against the South African variant.

  • Oxford and AstraZeneca, which partnered to produced a vaccine for the original strain, said an updated version of its vaccine that protects against the South African variant could be available this fall.

  • The South African variant has been discovered in multiple states in the U.S. alongside other variants.

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