Photo Via St. Cloud Times Under the Creative Commons License
Just when Americans thought their days of living through an unprecedented pandemic were coming to an end, several new variants of the COVID-19 virus have been making their way to the United States within the last month.
Health officials are worried that Americans are letting loose of restrictions and guidelines now that the vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are making their way throughout America. Three states have lifted their mask mandates within the last
week, and New York and Massachusetts eased their restrictions on restaurant seating in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Many health officials are saying that Americans are helping the virus by doing this instead of stopping it. Three variants have already made their way to the United States, stemming from Europe, South Africa, and Latin America, and they are all said to be found more contagious.
Another variant has been making its way throughout Southern California; however, it is unclear to health officials how dangerous or contagious it is. The newest variant arose in the United Kingdom and is expected to be in the United States by the end of next month; this variant is likely to be more dominant, according to health officials.
Health officials also say that it is very possible that there can be more variants here already, but the severity of them is unknown. Some good news is the two vaccines that Americans have available here in the United States (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), appear to be effective against these variants as well, according to a study published by nature.com. However, health officials say that if Americans do not continue to follow CDC guidelines, these variants will have an opportunity to make the antibodies in the vaccines less effective over time.
To find out more information about staying safe in Minnesota, click here: Minnesota COVID-19 Response