Doctors consider vaccine efficacy as COVID-19 variants are discovered

Doctors consider vaccine efficacy as COVID-19 variants are discovered
These variants are known to spread more easily than the original COVID-19 strain, but it’s not yet clear how. (Source: CNN)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -As COVID-19 evolves into different variants of the virus, more questions and concerns are coming to the surface about the vaccines that are becoming available and who’s susceptible to these new strains.

“Until we are done with this pandemic, I’m gonna have concerns every single day,” said Dr. David Kimberlin, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and an expert in vaccine development, who says it’s important to stay informed, and it’s important where you get your information. “It really doesn’t help if you’re getting inaccurate information. You need the facts; you need the scientific understanding and the medical interpretation of that.”

He’s watching closely as new variants of COVID-19 are discovered.

“We’re learning a lot on a day by day basis about these new variants,” Dr. Kimberlin explained, “One of the aspects of these variants that appears to be happening, and I say appears because these are these are really quite newly recognized, but they do appear to transmit more readily between people and that also seems to apply to children too, that they’re, they’re more easily transmissible but doesn’t seem right now that they are more lethal, or that they cause more severe disease.”

But these variants are reason enough to raise the level of research and take another look at the available vaccines.

“We need to learn a lot more about them,” warned Kimberlin. “What we know today may not be what we know, a week from now or a month from now. So keep that in mind. What we know right now looks pretty reassuring. It looks like people getting the current vaccines have protection have immunity, even against most of these new variants.”

Until we know more, the same rules continue to apply.

“We have to wear masks, we have to social distance, we have to be in smaller groups and not in large groups, the standard things we’ve been doing,” urged Dr. Kimberlin.

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