What about these new COVID mutations? Do the vaccines work against them?
We’re not completely sure how well the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work against the various new strains of SARS-CoV-2 that are being identified. The clinical trials for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines pre-dated the emergence of these new strains. The good news is that early information from Israel indicates that the Pfizer vaccine seems to be working against the UK mutant (B.1.1.7); but we still lack evidence about the South African or Brazilian variants.
If it is found that the vaccines are much less effective against these variants, it may be necessary to have a booster vaccine (for example; this is something Moderna has discussed).
However, regardless of these new strains, the most effective way to beat all of them is with vaccinations to achieve herd immunity; and continuing to wear a mask and socially distance: no virus has successfully mutated to beat wearing a mask!