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Here's What You Need to Know About COVID Variants' Impact on Vaccine Efficacy

By Morgan McSweeney - Updated Mar 31, 2021 at 4:24PM

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Do new variants from South Africa, Brazil, and the U.K. threaten the efficacy of already authorized vaccines?

The more widely a virus is circulating in a population and infecting individuals, the more likely it is that the virus will mutate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over a year into the global coronavirus pandemic, we face an increasing number of variants of the virus, and the fear that our methods of prevention and treatment might not stack up against the more transmissible and potentially more dangerous strains originating in South Africa, Brazil, and the U.K.

We now have data from Novavax (NVAX 2.04%) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.09%) on how their vaccines perform against these new strains -- here's what that new data means, and some good news on the ability of shots to provide protection. 

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