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Acheson Group February 15, 2021 0 Comments

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COVID-19 Variants Continue to Raise Question

With several variants identified around the world, the following are the most prominent of strains:

  • First identified in UK – 501Y.V1 aka B.1.1.7
  • First identified in South Africa – 501Y. V2 aka B1.351
  • First identified in Brazil – 501Y. V3  aka P1
  • First identified in California – L452R

Of the variants that have been studied, the variations appear to be in the spike protein. The spike protein is important for infectivity, as it is what allows the virus to attach in humans, thus the greater transmissibility being seen in the variants. That alteration is also raising lines of inquiry about the efficacy of the vaccine since vaccines have been directed toward the spike protein.

As shown in the tables below from covariants.org, the US data from January 25 shows 9% of the circulating variants are S:N501, primarily the B.1.1.7 variant, with 452R making up 6% of the circulating variants (the strain first identified in CA).

While the majority of cases in the U.S. are still of the original strain, CDC continues to speculate that the B117 strain will become the dominant strain in the U.S. Although we’re not yet seeing things moving that direction, we don’t project CDC to be wrong on that.

So with all the remaining unknowns and variant concern, we are not out of woods, things continue to be unstable. So, once again, keep doing what you’re doing and stay informed as it alls continues to evolve.

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