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Coronavirus Coverage

Scientists are monitoring the virus that causes COVID-19 for genetic changes that could make a vaccine ineffective. But so far, they’re not seeing any.

“There’s nothing alarming about the way the coronavirus is mutating or the speed at which it’s mutating,” says Emma Hodcroft, a molecular epidemiologist at the University of Basel in Switzerland. “We don’t think this will be a problem [for vaccines] in the short term.”

“To date, there have been very few mutations observed,” says Peter Thielen, a senior scientist at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. “And any mutations that we do see are likely not having an effect on the function of the virus itself.”

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