Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine appears to work against new, more infectious variants of the pandemic virus found in the UK and South Africa, say scientists from the pharmaceutical company.
Earlier laboratory tests suggest antibodies triggered by the vaccine can recognize and fight the new variants.
More studies are needed to confirm this is true for people that have been vaccinated.
The new variants have been spreading fast in a number of nations.
They have undergone changes or mutations that mean they can infect human cells more easily than the original version of coronavirus that started the pandemic.
Experts think the UK strain, which emerged in September, maybe up to 70% more transmissible.
Current vaccines were designed around earlier variants, but scientists believe they should still work against the new ones, although perhaps not quite as well.
For this study, researchers looked at blood samples taken from eight people who had received the recommended two doses of the Moderna vaccine.
The findings are yet to be peer-reviewed but suggest immunity from the vaccine still works against the new variants.
Neutralizing antibodies, made by the immune system, attach to the virus and block it from entering cells.