The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Moderna says new version of vaccine is tailored to quell infection by South Africa variant

A forensic pathologist takes a swab from a body for a coronavirus test in Belgrade, Serbia, on Monday. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)
Placeholder while article actions load
Please Note

The Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free. For more free coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter where all stories are free to read.

Moderna said Wednesday that it has manufactured a new version of its coronavirus vaccine that is tailored to quell infection by the variant first identified in South Africa. A small amount of vaccine has been sent to the National Institutes of Health for a trial to determine whether boosting humans with the modified vaccine will stimulate a strong immune response, the company said.

View live politics updates

The news came after the release of a Food and Drug Administration review finding the single-shot coronavirus vaccine made by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson safe and effective. The review sets the stage for a third coronavirus vaccine to be authorized in the United States as soon as this weekend.

Here are some significant developments:

  • A coronavirus variant detected in California now makes up more than half of the infections in 44 counties, according to new research.
  • The Biden administration plans to deliver 25 million free cloth masks to low-income Americans over the next two months.
  • As the House prepares to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, divisions are growing among Senate Democrats over state aid and a $15 minimum wage — raising the prospect that the bill might have to change significantly to pass the Senate.
  • Domestic production of coronavirus vaccine increased while the global death rate decreased, the World Health Organization said.
  • The first 600,000 doses distributed by the Covax initiative to ensure equitable vaccine access for lower-income countries arrived in Ghana.
  • China’s Sinopharm company has announced the approval of a second vaccine, this one from its Wuhan unit, with an efficacy of 72.5 percent.

Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Vaccine tracker

Loading...