New Covid strains ‘may even escape the immune response,’ says Biden Covid advisor

A member of the Biden-Harris Transition Covid Advisory Board warned about the extremely transmissible new Covid variants and vaccine resistance throughout a Thursday night interview on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith.”

“They’re more virulent, can cause more death, and some of them may even escape the immune response, whether it’s natural or from the vaccine,” stated Dr. Celine Gounder. “So it’s really important right now that we do everything possible to preserve the vaccines to make sure they keep working and that means preventing the spread of these new variants.”

Three extremely contagious mutations of Covid have been detected in at the very least 33 states throughout the U.S., in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers say these extremely transmissible variants might lengthen the pandemic and doubtlessly create one other surge. Projections out of the CDC even predict the U.Okay. variant to be the dominant variant in the U.S. by March. 

Gounder, an epidemiologist at NYU, instructed host Shepard Smith that she’s “concerned” that individuals will let their guards down in March and that it might doubtlessly result in one other surge. 

“That’s a time when you might have some families taking spring break, so you would have the additive effect of, again, a holiday where people might be socializing, not taking all the safety measures, on top of this far more contagious variant,” warned Gounder. 

Johnson & Johnson introduced that it filed emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its coronavirus vaccine. Last week it launched information displaying it was about 66% efficient in defending in opposition to the virus.

If J&J’s software is permitted, it might be the third vaccine in the arsenal approved for emergency use in the U.S. behind vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Unlike the different two pictures, nevertheless, the J&J vaccine solely requires one shot and requires fundamental refrigeration for storage. 

Gounder emphasised, that regardless of promising vaccine information, it is not time for folks to calm down masking and social distancing measures. 

“Until everybody who wants to get vaccinated can be vaccinated, we really do need to double down on the masking, the social distancing, all of the measures we’ve been talking about for months now,” Gounder stated.

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