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The new highly mutated COVID variant BA.2.86 does not have a heightened ability to evade the protection of COVID vaccines or immunity from prior infection, new laboratory tests show.

The BA.2.86 variant grabbed the attention of public health officials in recent weeks due to its quick spread across the globe and a large number of mutations. Having so many mutations increased the chance that it would behave differently than previous versions of the virus, possibly making it more dangerous.

Now, experiments conducted by two teams of U.S. scientists show that antibodies from COVID vaccinations or prior infections can recognize and fight off the BA.2.86 version of the virus, CNN reported, noting that the protection may be “perhaps even better” than antibody responses to other currently circulating strains of the virus. Head over to WebMD to read the full story.