Drugmaker Moderna expressed confidence Monday that its coronavirus vaccine is effective against newer, more contagious strains of the virus that have surfaced in recent weeks.

However, Moderna announced it will initiate clinical trials of a modified booster form of its vaccine specifically for a South African variant of the coronavirus after tests showed its approved vaccine had a reduced antibody response, Reuters reported.

Moderna’s vaccine, which received emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in December, consists of two shots administered four weeks apart.

The company said it found no reduction in antibodies regarding another strain found in the U.K. variant that has proven to be more transmissible according to tests.

Data from the Moderna tests against the South African and U.K. variants will be published on the website bioRxiv, Reuters reported.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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