Antibodies against the novel coronavirus may not work as well against a new variant of the virus identified in South Africa, early data suggest.

Scientists recently raised concerns that the variant, known as 501.V2, may be resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, Live Science previously reported. Experts noted that the variant has accumulated a significant number of mutations in its spike protein, a pointed structure that sticks off the virus’s surface and binds to human cells to trigger infection.