Tags: Coronavirus | Health Topics | covid | pandemic | variants | vaccination

Experts Warn of a Longer Pandemic If Vaccination Pace Slows

Experts Warn of a Longer Pandemic If Vaccination Pace Slows
An NHS "Making A Difference" digital poster reminding the public to stay home, wear face masks, practice proper social distancing measures and not to take risks or bend the rules is seen on March 6, 2021 in the London Borough of Hounslow during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. (zz/KGC-254/STAR MAX/IPx)

By    |   Monday, 12 April 2021 12:53 PM

If we do not keep vaccinating against COVID-19 at the current rate, and the variants keep spreading, America may experience a long siege ahead dealing with the pandemic, experts fear.

According to Axios, the British variant is already causing a new COVID-19 surge in Michigan. Mutations appear to be infecting more children, said Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

"Please understand, this B.1.1.7 variant is a brand new ball game," he said. "It infects kids very readily."

According to Business Insider, the mutation that was first detected in the U.K. and has now spread to the U.S., was evaluated by several university and hospital research teams and found to be between 30% and 70% more lethal than SARS-CoV-2, the original coronavirus responsible for COVID-19.

Earlier studies found that the variant doubles every 10 days and is predicted to become the dominant variant in America. It is also 35% to 45% more transmissible than other strains currently circulating in the country, which is why scientists say it could be more deadly.

In some states, the variant is already dominating the surge in new COVID-19 cases, and much of that spread is among school-aged children, according to reports. The virus appears to be spreading more easily among youngsters than past strains.

New studies show that our current vaccines may not work as well against the South African variant.  An Israel study found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine appeared less effective against the B.1.351 variant that was able to “break through” the vaccine’s armor of protection.

Many experts fear that if we do not vaccinate enough of the population before these variants take hold, we may suffer a long, dark future under the shadow of the pandemic. According to Axios, vaccination rates have already slowed down in the South which could give the virus more opportunity to mutate.

These variants can turn out to be far more dangerous to certain populations than the original SARS-CoV-2 if we do not control their growth now. We may also need to reformulate vaccines in the future to quell the variants or get booster shots to stay safe. Both Moderna and Pfizer have announced that they are already working on  booster shots to improve protection

The key to preventing the dark future of a lengthy pandemic is to get vaccinated, per Axios, and the more people take advantage of our highly effective vaccines, the less impact COVID-19 may have on the rest of our lives.

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If we do not keep vaccinating against COVID-19 at the current rate, and the variants keep spreading, America may experience a long siege ahead dealing with the pandemic, experts fear...
covid, pandemic, variants, vaccination
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2021-53-12
Monday, 12 April 2021 12:53 PM
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