RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Researchers at Duke say at least one of the current COVID-19 vaccines is effective against two variants of the virus. The Moderna vaccine is now said to provide protection against the fast-spreading California mutations.
Scientists also tested the Novavax vaccine. It has also shown to works against the variants too but is not approved for the public yet.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was not tested. However, it uses the same technology as the Moderna vaccine so researchers believe it’s just as effective.
“This California variant is unlikely to be a problem for the vaccines. The UK variant- same thing. And those are the two most prevalent variants in the United States other than the common variant. So, the picture looks really, really, good,” said Dr. David Montefiori a virologist at Duke.
Montefiori said the South African variant is the biggest concern right now. Only 29 cases of the variant have been found in North Carolina but few samples are actually analyzed for mutations so the number may be much larger.
“Things change quite quickly and quite often with this virus,” said Montefiori.
It’s why he said it was important to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible. Public health officials say the more people we can get vaccinated, the less opportunity there is for these variants to spread.
“And also, it’s less likely that other variants could emerge that could be more problematic,” Montefiori said.