Moderna produces first batch of vaccine against South African strain of coronavirus

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Moderna produces first batch of vaccine against South African strain of coronavirus

Clinical trials of the modified vaccine could begin within weeks

Moderna Pharmaceutical Company said it has produced the first batch of a new vaccine with improved efficacy against a new strain of coronavirus that was more resistant to the company’s original vaccine.

The Cambridge, Mass. company said it has sent doses of the new vaccine to the National Institutes of Health to conduct the first human trial of the modified vaccine. It could begin within a few weeks.

The new vaccine, codenamed mRNA-1273.351, is designed to provide a higher degree of protection against a variant of the virus that was first found in South Africa but has since spread to other countries.

Other companies, including Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, have said they are also modifying their vaccines or working on boosters that better match the new virus variants.

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