Moderna says its vaccine is expected to protect against new COVID strains

Coronavirus

(WTNH) — Moderna said its vaccine is expected to be protective against the new COVID-19 strains.

The company said its vaccine produced virus-neutralizing antibodies in lab tests against new variants found in the UK and South Africa.

The U.S. will begin restricting travel from South Africa, banning most non-U.S. citizens who have recently traveled to the country from entering the states.

A travel ban for Brazil, the UK, Ireland, and 26 other countries across Europe will also be reimposed.

RELATED: Biden to reinstate COVID travel restrictions on non-U.S. travelers from Brazil, Ireland, the UK, South Africa

Scientists said the UK strain of COVID is likely more contagious and possibly more dangerous.

Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University explained, “Even if the virus ended up not being any more deadly, the fact that it’s more contagious means it’s gonna end up infecting a lot more people. It’s going to cause more hospitalizations and a lot more deaths. So the fact that it is more contagious is a real source of concern, I think, for all of us.”

Starting Tuesday, all international airline passengers must show proof of a negative COVID test before boarding a plane to the U.S.

Citi Field in New York was scheduled to open as a mass vaccination site this week; that’s now on hold because of a vaccine shortage.

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