There are concerns that the first-generation vaccine will not work well against another variant that has emerged in South Africa.
In the United States, dozens of people are receiving a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and this time some minor adjustments have been made to combat the mutated version of the virus.
Vaccines currently available in the United States provide good protection. However, if the virus develops resistance to today’s vaccines, the new research on the experimental vaccine update by Moderna and Pfizer represents the first step towards alternatives.
Dr. Nadine Rouphael of Emory University said: “You have to know this virus in advance.” “We know what is behind the virus.”
It is not clear whether the protection provided by the vaccine will be weakened, making the new vaccine necessary, but, “in fact, we want COVID to become a cold.”
The virus is constantly evolving, and there is already a more easily spreading variant that was first discovered around the UK. Fortunately, it can be prevented by vaccines.
But there are concerns that the first-generation vaccine will not work well against another variant that has emerged in South Africa. All vaccine laboratories are looking for ways to fight the B.1.351 virus when necessary. The experimental doses of Moderna and Pfizer are currently being tested.
Emory University, located on the outskirts of Atlanta, asked those who participated in the first vaccine study to provide help to make this update.
Volunteer Cole Smith said he doesn’t have to think about it too much.
Smith told the Associated Press: “It was a great success for the first time. Millions of people are being vaccinated.” “If we help the first person with the vaccine, why not volunteer to help this new vaccine? “
Researchers at Emory and three other medical centers are also recruiting volunteers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The goal is not only to determine whether Moderna’s third dose can combat new variants of the virus. It is also related to checking whether the two new doses of vaccine are sufficient. Or one of each vaccine. Or, if you can combine the two vaccines into one.
The US Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer and its partner German laboratory BioNTech to conduct similar experiments on their vaccines.
Like most vaccines used around the world, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines train the body to recognize the S protein in the coronavirus shell.
Mutations in viruses are common, but if too many mutations are generated, they can escape the immune system designed to detect intruders.
The good news is that updating Moderna and Pfizer vaccines is fairly easy.
The research released this month covered only a few hundred people, while the thousands used to test the original vaccine did not.
Associated Press reporter Ron Harris is from Atlanta.