The Houston Health Department reported several coronavirus variants have shown up in the wastewater surveillance program, which tracks the virus.
WATCH: Variants in Houston wastewater: Should we be alarmed?
A study created in collaboration with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicates the Pfizer vaccine is effective against these known mutations, specifically the U.K. variant and the Brazil version, the latter of which has spread rapidly across causing a surge of new cases and deaths.
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Dr. Pei-Yong Shi with UTMB told ABC13 the study shows encouraging developments. He also said the findings should generally apply to both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson versions of the vaccine due to the similar ways they help the body fight the virus.
"That's why we think the general information of this study can apply to the other vaccines, but it would be great for that to be further validated with other vaccine blood serum," Shi said.
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The study showed the vaccine didn't cause as strong of an immune reaction against the South African variant, but Shi points out that does not mean the vaccine is ineffective against that variant, only that it's not as strong as it is against the U.K. and Brazil viral mutations.
Shi said the methods used to create the vaccines are highly adaptable and if a new variant emerges that the vaccines are not effective against, they can be adapted fairly quickly.
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