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A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at Gramps bar in Miami, Florida. Photo: Alicia Vera/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BioNTech said Monday there is currently "no evidence" to support the need to adapt the company's coronavirus vaccine, developed with Pfizer, to be more effective against emerging variants.

Why it matters: Some health experts fear that contagious new variants could be more resistant against COVID-19 vaccines, prolonging the pandemic for years to come.

What to watch: BioNTech said that despite the lack of evidence that its vaccine is ineffective against variants, the company "has developed a comprehensive strategy to address these variants should the need arise in the future."

  • For example, BioNTech and Pfizer plan to study the effectiveness of a third vaccine dose to prolong immunity against COVID-19 and to protect against variants. The companies say that the FDA has approved their further research plans.
  • BioNTech and Pfizer are also currently studying their vaccine's effectiveness in children from 6 months to 11 years old and testing its use for healthy pregnant women.

Go deeper

May 10, 2021 - Sports

420 athletes take part in Olympics test event in Tokyo

American Justin Gatlin (2nd L) crosses the finish line to win the men's 100m final ahead of Japan's Yuki Koike (L) and Shuhei Tada (R)during the "Ready Steady Tokyo" Olympics test event, part of the World Athletics Continental Tour at the National Stadium, in Tokyo Sunday. Photo: Toru Hanai/Getty Images

American sprinter Justin Gatlin was among 420 athletes to participate in a Tokyo test event with pandemic precautions in place Sunday ahead of this summer's delayed Olympic Games.

The big picture: No spectators were present during the event at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium as the city remains under a COVID-19 state of emergency due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

May 10, 2021 - Health

Some health providers are charging insurers over $1,000 for COVID tests

Photo: GEORGES GOBET/AFP via Getty Images

More than a year after Congress required insurers to pay the full amount charged by out-of-network providers for COVID tests, the procedure has become extremely lucrative for some hospitals and other providers, KHN reports.

Why it matters: Even if patients don't have to directly pay for overpriced diagnostic tests, it adds onto the overall cost of care — which leads to higher insurance premiums.