You've probably heard a lot in recent months about the emergence of new coronavirus variants. There have been some concerns that the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available might not be as effective against these variants. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on May 17, healthcare and cannabis bureau chief Corinne Cardina and Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights discuss how Pfizer's (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna's (NASDAQ:MRNA) vaccines are faring against the coronavirus variants.
Corinne Cardina: Let's talk about the variants. You just kind of touched on it. But do we have any update on how the existing vaccines are holding up to the many different variants we've heard about.
Keith Speights: Yeah, so far, there's good news. So far, it does appear that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in particular are holding up pretty well against the current variants that have been emerging. That's especially the case for the so-called U.K. variant B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the United Kingdom.
Both vaccines also seem to be pretty effective against the South African Variant B.1.351, although less effective than they are against the original coronavirus strain. But there are other variants on the scene now as well. There's one that surfaced in India, there's one that surfaced in Brazil. I think it's still a little too early to know.
I think so far so good. But we could see lower efficacy for any of these vaccines against some of the variants that are emerging and particularly as they impact more and more people.
Based on what we're seeing right now, I think all of the industry experts who were forecasting that variant-specific vaccine doses will be required, particularly in 2022 and beyond, I think that's probably right. I think that's what we're going to see.