Uncertainty around coronovirus variants is raising some concern
One expert said that it is possible to vaccinate as many people as possible against novel coronoviruses.
The Medical Director of Disease Control at the Westchester County Department of Health, Drs. Dial Hewlett and a partner Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Stated that reducing the number of people susceptible to the virus should be an important goal.
“If we are able to vaccinate enough people for a short period of time, we will be able to deal with this problem of new variants,” he said during an IDSA media briefing on Thursday. “Viruses must have a host to survive.”
Several studies have suggested that the currently accepted mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna may not offer as much protection against the South African version as it does to others. On Wednesday, the White House announced that a variant with the elusive E48K mutation was detected in the US, which is of further concern about vaccine efficacy.
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Medical Director of the Division of Orange County Health Care Agency, Drs. Matthew Zahn said during the briefing, “I think from a public view, we are definitely concerned about the variants.” “Absent from the variant question, I think we look at a straight line. Vaccines work, they are effective and as we get more people vaccinated, this will remove the disease to a greater extent.”
However, Zahan said, the issue of the variant raises questions of its own due to the uncertainty surrounding it. He Added that vaccines, despite showing initial effects, still provide some level of protection.
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“We remain cautiously optimistic,” he said. “Obviously we will learn a lot in the next few months as people get vaccinated and we follow the epidemiology of variants.”