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Fauci says there’s reason for concern over South African variant and vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci says there’s reason to be concerned about the impact of some coronavirus mutations on vaccines, but scientists have plenty of options for adjustments to maintain the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments.

The government’s top infectious disease expert says there’s particular concern about the so-called South African variant, because lab tests have shown that it can diminish the protective power of the vaccines approved to date.

However, Fauci stresses the level of protection provided was still well within what he called the “cushion” of vaccine effectiveness.

Fauci says one vaccine that’s still in testing is being measured for effectiveness against the South African variant and another strain that has emerged in Brazil. He called that a promising development.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, laughs while speaking in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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