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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

Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas — Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. Economy: Report: World's 10 richest men doubled wealth during pandemicAmerica's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  7. Variant tracker

New Mexico to reinstate indoor mask mandate

First Lady Jill Biden (far left) looks on as New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gives a sticker to a woman who just received a COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

People in New Mexico will be required to wear face masks in all public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status starting on Friday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The spread of coronavirus has "increased dramatically" due to the highly infectious Delta variant and still-unvaccinated populations, Lujan Grisham's office said. State modeling projects that New Mexico will reach 1,000 new cases per day by the end of August.

Aug 17, 2021 - Health

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tests positive for COVID-19

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced Tuesday. Abbott is "experiencing no symptoms" and is fully vaccinated.

Why it matters: Abbott has fought vehemently against public health measures such as mask and vaccine mandates.