Pfizer and Moderna are testing their coronavirus vaccines to see if they work against the new strain that has been identified in the UK and other countries, according to company statements.

‘Based on the data to date, we expect the immunity induced by the Moderna vaccine to protect against the recently described variants in the UK; We will carry out additional tests in the coming weeks to confirm this expectation,”states the Moderna document.

Pfizer has informed the US media that it is now “generating data” on how well blood samples from people immunised with its vaccine “may be able to neutralize the new strain first identified in the United Kingdom.”

Meanwhile, BioNTech, a collaborating partner of Pfizer, has announced that it could produce a modification to its vaccine in a period of six weeks to adapt it to this new mutation of the virus. “But that is a purely technical consideration,” BioNTech boss Ugur Sahin said on Tuesday.

He said that it is not only technical issues, but also how the regulatory authorities would qualify this modification. In any case, he added that it is “very likely” that the vaccine that has already been produced will also work against the new variant. “The platform of the previous vaccine would not be affected if it were further developed,” added BioNTech Medical Director and Co-Founder Ozlem Tureci.

In this case, the question would be to what extent the authorities will accept as a basis the safety and efficacy data already presented for the current vaccine, despite it being a new modification. This, in turn, would influence the length of a possible approval process.

The executive director of BioNTech, Sean Marett, said that the first deliveries of the vaccine in the European Union will begin this Wednesday. In addition, he has detailed that by the end of this year European countries could receive up to 12.5 million doses.

The doses are currently stored in the plant of Pfizer, BioNTech’s partner in the United States, in Puurs (Belgium). This is where the raw materials, which are manufactured in BioNTech’s various production facilities, are processed and filled.