WASHINGTON, D.C. — The biotech company Novavax announced testing is underway for a new version of its COVID-19 vaccine.
This version will help fight new mutated variants of the virus.
As vaccinations ramp up across the U.S., variant strains of the coronavirus continue to surface.
These new strains have originated in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.
Scientists at Novavax are specifically targeting the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa.
The new vaccine could move to clinical trials as soon as the lab testing is complete.
However, research on the new vaccine is still in the early phases.
Novavax stated that the U.S. trial for its original COVID-19 vaccine has reached full enrollment.
In January, early results from a phase 3 trial in the U.K. showed that vaccine to be 89% effective.
The company stated if everything stays on track in the U.S., its original vaccine could have emergency authorization sometime this summer.