And most worryingly – or not, depending on what keeps you awake at night – they don’t know enough about the effects of the current vaccines on these variants.
So although reports have claimed that the current vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer may not work as well against the more infectious South African strains of the virus as they do against against the still-dominant strain of the virus, they are still said to work well against that mutant strain.
But here’s the thing: No one really knows how much protection can drop off before the vaccines need to be altered.
According to Dr. John Mascola, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), whose scientists helped develop Moderna’s vaccine “It could be that antibody protection is high enough from the vaccine that it will still be effective”.
But that’s gonna take real-world data to determine – in the meantime, of course, the virus continues to mutate – and a study like that will take at least 2 more months.
Meanwhile, all we can do is worry, I guess.