U.K. Identifies New More Contagious COVID-19 Strain
A new strain of COVID-19 has emerged in the United Kingdom, and while the United States is not sure if it has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, multiple officials are monitoring the new strain and advising Americans to be wary.
“We don’t know yet. We are, of course, looking very carefully into this,” said U.S. COVID-19 vaccine head Dr. Moncef Slaoui told CNN. He added that the new strain is “very unlikely” to be resistant to current vaccines.
The new U.K. strain appears to be 70% more transmissible than the first, with the country enforcing new lockdown mandates and restricting travel. Both the Trump administration and the incoming Biden administration are monitoring the new strain.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said that Americans need to be extra careful about COVID-19 precautions, now more than ever.
“Right now, we have no indication that it is going to hurt our ability to continue to vaccinate people or that it is any more dangerous or deadly than the strains that are currently out there that we know about,” Adams told Face the Nation.
Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giror told This Week that he did not think there was any current impact on United States and United Kingdom travel, and that Americans do not need to be too alarmed just yet.
“We don’t know that it’s more dangerous,” said Giroir. “Right now, it looks like the vaccine should cover everything that we see.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just gave approval to both Pfizer and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines, and shipments that are to be administered to first responders have begun to be sent out to multiple states.