Vaccines Developing; Variants Rising

United Kingdom – a new variant of COVID-19 known as B.1.1.7, an even more deadly version of the pandemic-causing Coronavirus has made its mark in certain areas, with a 64% greater chance of mortality. 

According to the British Medical Journal, or BMJ, this variant of the virus can spread more quickly than the original version.

According to Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, the actual deadliness of the virus is coupled with bacterial infections from being in the hospital for an extended period and the instance of blood clots in COVID-19 patients. 

Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at the University of Warwick in the UK, said “This study confirms previous work showing that infection with the B.1.1.7 virus variant is associated with an increased risk of death. The precise mechanisms responsible for increased mortality associated with the variant remain uncertain but could be related to higher levels of virus replication as well as increased transmissibility.”

According to a press release by CNN, “The variant is spreading in the United States, for instance, and health officials warn it “might become dominant” in the country.”

This variant, according to Adalja, can pose an ‘increased risk of death.’

However, in the United States, the variant of COVID-19 has not yet made as significant of an effect as in the UK. 

In fact, Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently released a statement emphasizing the ‘return to normality in the USA. Acknowledging the risk factors and the plausibility, Gupta said, “Even after talking to the brightest epidemiologists, virologists, infectious disease experts all over the world, I wasn’t 100% sure on where the line in the sand for acceptable level of risk was drawn.” 

Dr. Gupta quoted Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on how underlying risk factors could raise the mortality rate in the United States and why those over 65 were given the valiant vaccines first. 

Accordingly, Walensky stated, “None of the unvaccinated people or any unvaccinated members of their households, for example, are an adult over age 65 or have an underlying condition such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes that could increase their risk of Covid-19 related hospitalization or death.”

“There is so much that’s critical riding on the next two months,” Walensky said Monday. “How quickly we will vaccinate versus whether we will have another surge really relies on what happens in March and April.”

Stephen Collinson, a CNN representative stated, “There are also growing concerns about the impact of spring break in Florida, where the more contagious variant of Covid-19 first found in the UK is multiplying at a rapid rate and could seed new outbreaks countrywide when partying youngsters return home.”

Collinson emphasized that 60 million Americans know that moment of euphoria that comes with getting a first dose. More than 30 million are fully protected — a figure that has just overtaken the total number of US Covid-19 cases.

Gupta also cited an explanation by Tara Kirk Sell, a ‘senior scholar’ at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, “I think the guidelines are in a good middle ground,” she said. “We’re starting to go back to normal now, but it’s not going to be flipping a switch… We will make that journey towards normalcy, or at least a new normal, as more people get vaccinated.”

It is pivotal to understand that no matter how powerful the vaccines are, and no matter how secure those sheltering in place are, Gupta called the new variant of COVID-19 “dark clouds on the horizon.”

Despite the heavy warnings of UK professionals, CNN stated that travel would be allowed with a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours upon arrival and must quarantine for 14 days. 

Starting in October and ranging until the end of the year after Thanksgiving and Christmas there was a lockdown, however, a third-wave variant of COVID-19 has emerged in February 2021 and is “gathering pace,” according to CNN.

According to Diamond, the vaccine goal is to have a proper stock of vaccines by the end of May 2021, however he acknowledges that this timeline may not be met.

More than 93,600,000 doses have been administered in the US as of Wednesday morning, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the seven-day average for shots administered is now 2.17 million shots per day, which was originally 890,000 shots per day on January 20, when Biden took office.

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