New York and California reports new Covid-19 variants

As America struggles along with the world to fix the covid impacts, New York and California have reported a new set of variants that are said to be much deadlier than the current virus. 

In the midst of the Biden administration’s covid strategy to revive the country’s economic condition, the citizens are met with another challenge once again.

New York and California reports new Covid-19 variants

Although various other nations have reported these variants, the Columbia University published a paper stating the identified variant as B.1.526. 

The authors also pointed out a rapid 12.3% increase in its detection rate from December to February in the past 2 weeks. 

It was first discovered back in November and accounts for about one-fourth of the viral sequences. 

New York and California reports new Covid-19 variants

These variants are said to contain a mutation that has the possibility of reducing the effects of the covid vaccines. 

Researchers stated that cases have been reported the most in New York City and might therefore it become a virus hotspot once again. 

They also said that the variant’s unique set of spike mutations may cause an antigenic challenge to the vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapies. 

As per the Washington Post, in the state of California, two powerful variants B.1.427 and B.1429 are reported which accounts for 50% of cases in 44 counties. 

These strains are found to be easily transmitted due to the presence of a mutation that helps the virus to bind to the human receptor cells. 

The authors state that more investigation is needed as the current research on these variants hasn’t been reviewed. They also called out the need for having more genetic sequencing to be conducted throughout the country to identify any other variants. 

But as per the John Hopkins’ Covid-19 tracker, virus cases are reducing considerably in the United States. 

Around 2,31,035 covid cases were recorded in December whereas for the past 2 days 69,828 cases have been reported. 

Yesterday, Pfizer and Moderna announced that were testing their mRNA vaccines against the new variants. Moderna has also reported its shipment of a new vaccine to the US National Institute of Health (NIH) for the South African variant B1315.

Business and stock market news leader CNBC stated that Pfizer and Moderna are conducting a test to see if the third dose of their vaccine will provide any immune response against the variants. 

Both the vaccine companies are currently undergoing discussions with the health authorities about testing a modified vaccine against the South African variant. 

Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel said in a recent press release that they were speeding up the process of testing the vaccine’s effectiveness against the new variants by leveraging mRNA’s flexibility. 

She also added that the team would be modifying Moderna if required until the pandemic ends and that booster doses might be demonstrated to help provide more shots in coming years. 

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