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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Virus variants challenge U.S. vaccine efforts

Duration: 01:37s 0 shares 12 views
Virus variants challenge U.S. vaccine efforts
Virus variants challenge U.S. vaccine efforts

Public health officials in the U.S. face the new challenge of dealing with coronavirus mutations, which are quickly on the rise across the country that has lost nearly half a million people to the pandemic.

Gavino Garay reports.

As U.S. coronavirus vaccination efforts ramp up, a growing number of virus variants could challenge the public health response.

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles told Reuters that a new coronavirus variant found in California drove a surge in cases during the Christmas-New Year holiday period.

Dr. Jasmine Plummer compared the CAL.20C variant to another high-contagious variant, first discovered in the United Kingdom.

"We are learning a lot from the strains.

If we look at the UK variant, we're actually learning that it's more infectious." On Sunday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said there are over 1,000 cases of the British coronavirus variant known as B117 in the United States.

She added that it may become the dominant strain by the end of March.

The highly transmissible South African mutation was also first detected in the United States at the end of January.

Reuters data on Sunday showed there were more than 27 million coronavirus cases in the U.S. The nation's death toll is steadily climbing toward half a million.

Rite Aid CEO Heyward Donigan on Sunday said vaccine supply has so far been unable to meet the demand.

She added that private sector pharmacies would be 'best' equipped to help with regards to scheduling vaccinations, which is so far still in the hands of state and local jurisdictions.

Late last week, U.S. President Joe Biden said the U.S. would have enough vaccines for 300 million people by the end of July.


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