"With the pandemic worsening and more contagious variant contagious variants spreading, this isn't the time to be lifting the restrictions on global travel", she said.
CDC officials also told Reuters that the travel ban could be expanded to additional countries if necessary. That publication did not address the South African variant, which has been of most concern and shares many mutations with a concerning variant detected in Brazil.
Preclinical studies and a Phase 1 study in the U.S. are planned.
Tata Group's healthcare venture is said to have started initial discussions with Moderna Inc for a partnership to launch its COVID-19 vaccine in India, the Economic Times reported on Monday.
Researchers think that the genetic changes to the spike protein of the variant may make it easier for this version of the virus to infect and replicate within its host, which could lead to more rapid spread among people.
South Africa's 501Y.V2 variant is 50% more infectious than the regular strain and has been detected in at least 20 countries.
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Because hospitalized COVID-19 patients are now uniformly more severely ill, a greater percentage of them is more likely to die. Until more people can be vaccinated with the limited supply, state and local leaders are left urging residents to be patient.
Pfizer and BioNTech already vouched confidence in their COVID-19 vaccines ability to protect against new variants. The agency also cautioned Americans to consider ahead of global travel how they'd pay for healthcare and additional lodging costs if they became infected or hospitalized while traveling.
The results from the trial show no significant impact in the vaccine's effectiveness of neutralizing the virus, despite the introduction of new variants, according to the news release.
Akiko Iwasaki, a leading virologist from Yale, tweeted: "This is good", adding that she expected other vaccine makers were also developing boosters that target the South African variant.
There was also one hospitalization, 16 other allergic reactions that were associated with the vaccine, and one case of Bell's Palsy or paralysis of part of the face.
Scientists have been particularly anxious that the mutations on B.1.351 would lead to the virus escaping the action of antibodies, and render the current generation of vaccines obsolete. Earlier in January, the companies posted a yet-to-be peer-reviewed study that showed the jab remained effective against both the United Kingdom and South African strains.
While the current two-dose regimen is holding so far, it's less effective against a South African variant-which has the company exploring a third shot and a variant-specific booster.