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Will Vaccines Work on COVID-19 Mutants?

New, more contagious versions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have begun to spread globally, leading to concerns that the vaccines developed for previous versions of the virus will not be effective against the new strains. 

According to experts, the vaccines should still work. Immunology professor Paula Cannon describes the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on the body as a polyclonal immune response, meaning that the immune system will release several kinds of antibodies in response to the vaccine. Some of these antibodies will be effective against new strains of SARS-CoV-2, though perhaps not quite as effective as they are against the original strain.

Another helpful finding is that this virus seems to mutate slowly, especially compared with influenza viruses. We may need to adjust vaccine formulations in the future to account for new strains, but for now, the mutations are not diverse enough to evade current vaccines.

For more information, read this article from HuffPost.