The 501.V2 variant is “a little bit more concerning regarding the possibility of interfering with some of the monoclonal antibodies,” based on preliminary findings, Fauci says.

Monoclonal antibody treatments precisely target one specific region of the virus and “if the mutation happens to be at that epitope, that could obviate the effect” of the treatment, he says.

Vaccines, on the other hand, “induce a polyclonal response against multiple different aspects of the spike protein,” Fauci points out. “For something to really circumvent the efficacy of the vaccine, it’s got to have a lot of mutations that are all at the right places.”