With reports emerging that several different COVID variants are now circulating around the world, Moderna has released a statement saying it believes its vaccine protects against at least two of the new strains.
Moderna Inc said on Monday it believes its COVID-19 vaccine protects against both new variants found in Britain and South Africa. However, the American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company also said it will test a separate booster shot aimed at the South African variant after concluding the antibody response could be diminished.
The company said in a press release that it found no reduction in the antibody response against the variant found in Britain. Against the South African variant, Moderna said it found a reduced response but still believed its two-dose regimen would provide protection.
The emergence of new COVID variants in Britain, South Africa and Brazil has created some concern that mutations in the virus may make vaccines less effective. Moderna’s announcement will serve to alleviate some of that concern, but the proof will be in the infection numbers going forward.
Moderna shares rose nearly 10% off the back of the news during Monday trading.
Moderna said it plans to publish data from its tests against the variants on the website bioRxiv.