'New York variant' of COVID-19: What's different about it, and will vaccines be effective?
Doctors at Yale Medicine say that new “New York variant” of COVID-19 contains some of the same dangerous mutations as South African versions of the virus, but it’s too early to tell what effect it will have on case numbers.
Dr. F. Perry Wilson says mutations in the New York variant may make the virus easier to pass on and harder for the body to fight.
"Many scientists feel that it might convey some degree of resistance to antibody treatments," he says.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci said variants are reason for concern, but not for changing behaviors.
"Keep doing the public health measures, and get as many people vaccinated as you possibly can. Everything you throw at us about a mutant is going be countered by getting people vaccinated," said Dr. Fauci.
Dr. Wilson says the virus that causes COVID-19 actually appears to mutate more slowly than flu virus.
"The reason we're seeing so much mutation and variance is just because the number of cases is so high around the world and every case is a chance for mutation," he says.
As the virus evolves, treatments and vaccines may eventually need to evolve too, Dr. Wilson says.
“I think it's likely that there might be…a booster in the future," he says.
Dr. Wilson says the current vaccines work so well, that even if the new strains show some resistance to antibodies, they should remain an effective tool in the fight against COVID-19.
Connecticut reported another 21 cases of the so-called UK variant of COVID-19, bringing the number of total cases to 63.
Two of the new cases are in Stamford. One of them was found in Bridgeport.