Researchers already know that these variants carry a worrisome mutation called E484K.
The new coronavirus variant also detected in Nigeria, Denmark and Canada is thought to reduce the effectiveness of vaccines
Sharon Peacock, director of the COVID-19 Genomics UK consortium, said vaccines were so far effective against the variants in the United Kingdom, but that mutations could potentially undermine the shots
Researchers took blood samples from 16 people who had received the vaccine and exposed the blood to a synthetic virus, or pseudovirus
"The data also suggest that the existing vaccines could be less effective against the South African variant"