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We need to ‘upgrade’ the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Fauci says

Deseret News logo Deseret News 1/26/2021 Herb Scribner
Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as he speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington. © Alex Brandon, Associated Press Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as he speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently said on the “Today” show that the current COVID-19 vaccine can defeat the new virus variants — but more can be done to stop more variants from coming.

Fauci said that there is “enough cushion” in the currently COVID-19 vaccines available “that we still consider them effective against the U.K. strain and the South Africa strain” of the virus.

  • “I don’t want people to think that the vaccines are not effective against them — they are. However, we really need to make sure that we begin, and we already have, to prepare, if it’s necessary, to upgrade the vaccines.”

Moderna is listening

COVID-19 vaccine developer Moderna said Monday that its vaccine is effective against the new British and South Africa COVID-19 variants, per The New York Times.

However, it may be somewhat less effective against South Africa one, so the company wants to upgrade its vaccine, according to The New York Times.

Specifically, the company is working on a booster against that variant of the virus.

  • “We’re doing it today to be ahead of the curve should we need to,” Dr. Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer, said in an interview with The New York Times. “I think of it as an insurance policy.”
  • He added, “I don’t know if we need it, and I hope we don’t.”
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