09:32 GMT21 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US-based pharmaceutical company Moderna expects that its COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the new strains of the coronavirus that were recently discovered in the United Kingdom.

    "Based on the data to date, Moderna expects that the vaccine-induced immunity from the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine would be protective against the variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus recently described in the UK. We will be performing additional tests of the vaccine in the coming weeks to confirm this expectation," Moderna said.

    Last week, London announced that a new coronavirus strain had been detected in the country, adding that the new variant was up to 70 percent more transmissible than other SARS-CoV-2 variants. After the news emerged, many countries suspended travel to and from the UK. However, there is no evidence that the new strain is more pathogenic.

    On Wednesday, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that a second new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 allegedly originating from South Africa was found in the country. On Thursday, the United Kingdom banned entry for passengers traveling from South Africa.

    Earlier this week, the developers of the Russian vaccine said that Sputnik V would be effective against any mutation of COVID-19, including the new strain, while the co-founder of BioNTech assured the firm's vaccine is "highly likely" to work against the mutated strain detected in the UK.

    coronavirus, COVID-19, Vaccine
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