NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) — A new and potentially more problematic variant of the coronavirus has been found in South Africa.
Health officials worry the new strain could be more contagious than the variant spreading in the UK right now.
The new strains are leading to questions about whether the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be effective against them.
Vanderbilt’s Doctor William Schaffner said we could have to wait and see.
“We’re interested in what the virologist will tell you over the next three to four weeks about exactly how much of a match there is between this new strain in South Africa and our vaccines,” Dr. Schaffner said. “If there’s not a match, then the manufacturers will have to go back to work and create yet another vaccine — hopefully one that will cover both strains.”
Dr. James Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College also shared his analysis of the new strain.
Dr. Hildreth, who served on the FDA advisory panel that helped approve the two available vaccines, says it’s likely both would protect against COVID variants.
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