Will Covid-19 vaccines work on the new coronavirus variant?

A medical worker holds an injection with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Regional Military Specialty Hospital in San Nicolas de los Garza, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico December 29, 2020.
A medical worker holds an injection with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Regional Military Specialty Hospital in San Nicolas de los Garza, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico December 29, 2020.

Washington, United States - A coronavirus variant in the UK has caused alarm because of the possibility that it might spread more easily.



By AP

Published: Wed 30 Dec 2020, 12:20 AM

Will Covid-19 vaccines work on the new coronavirus variant?

Experts believe so, but they’re working to confirm that.

A coronavirus variant in the United Kingdom has caused alarm because of the possibility that it might spread more easily. But even if that turns out to be true, experts say the Covid-19 vaccines being rolled out will likely still work on the variant.

Also read: New UK, South Africa Covid variants: Cases found in these countries

New Covid strain: UAE reports 'limited' number of cases

Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, said data coming from Britain indicates the vaccines still will block the virus. But the US also will do tests to be sure.

Viruses often undergo small changes as they reproduce and move through a population. In fact, the slight modifications are how scientists track the spread of a virus from one place to another.

But if a virus mutates significantly enough, one worry is that current vaccines might no longer offer as much protection. And although that’s a possibility to watch for over time with the coronavirus, experts say they don’t believe it will be the case with the variant in the UK.

“My expectation is, this will not be a problem,” said Moncef Slaoui, the chief science adviser for the US government’s Covid-19 vaccine push.


More news from coronavirus