The biotechnology company Novavax told CNN on Monday that its scientists are testing a new version of its Covid-19 vaccine in the lab that specifically targets the coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa.
As part of this research, the scientists are hoping to determine whether the new vaccine would serve as a booster shot to the original vaccine that has already been developed, or as a bivalent vaccine administered on its own, meaning it would target two strains of the coronavirus, both the original and the variant first identified in South Africa.
Once lab testing is complete, the new vaccine could move to clinical trials – but a timeline is still in the works and the research is still very early.
In a previous announcement in January, the company said, "Novavax initiated development of new constructs against the emerging strains in early January and expects to select ideal candidates for a booster and/or combination bivalent vaccine for the new strains in the coming days. The company plans to initiate clinical testing of these new vaccines in the second quarter of this year."