THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- As concerns mount about mutations that could make the new coronavirus more difficult to fight, two companies say they are working to develop new vaccines against emerging variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
GlaxoSmithKline is teaming with German biopharmaceutical company CureVac to create vaccines that use messenger RNA to combat the coronavirus, the Associated Press reported.
"The increase in emerging variants with the potential to reduce the efficacy of first generation COVID-19 vaccines requires acceleration of efforts to develop vaccines against new variants to keep one step ahead of the pandemic," according to a statement from the companies.
Their announcement comes as public health officials worldwide express worry about new coronavirus variants from Britain, South Africa, and Brazil that are more contagious or resistant to current vaccines, the AP reported. Mutations in the virus are being closely monitored by scientists in an attempt to quickly identify potentially dangerous variants.
"We believe that next generation vaccines will be crucial in the continued fight against COVID-19," GSK Chief Executive Emma Walmsley said in the statement, the AP reported.