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News Picture: 1st Known U.S. Case of New Variant of Coronavirus Is Spotted in ColoradoBy Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2020

The first recorded case of a faster-spreading variant of the brand new coronavirus has been detected in a 20-year-old man in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis stated Tuesday.

The younger man carries a variant of the virus that’s considered extra contagious — however no more deadly — than variants beforehand circulating globally this yr.

The fast unfold of the brand new variant inside Britain has precipitated a digital shutdown there, with many nations banning or proscribing flights from the United Kingdom. Many scientists within the United States have assumed that the novel variant is already circulating amongst Americans.

The Colorado man has no historical past of current journey, state well being officers stated, and is at present underneath isolation southeast of Denver in Elbert County, The New York Times reported.

According to the Times, Colorado Politics stated that the Elbert County director of public well being has additionally reported a second suspected case of the brand new variant within the state.

Both circumstances had been present in individuals who labored within the county however didn’t dwell there — elevating the chances of statewide unfold, the Times stated.

The detection of the extra contagious type of coronavirus provides urgency to efforts already underway to vaccinate Americans. In a information launch, Colorado well being officers reiterated that vaccines already in use ought to be simply as efficient towards the brand new variant of the virus.

However, “now I’m worried there will be another spring wave due to the variant,” scientist Trevor Bedford, who research the coronavirus at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, advised the Times. “It’s a race with the vaccine, but now the virus has just gotten a little bit faster.”

Another COVID-19 vaccine enters ultimate trials

In different information, vaccine maker Novavax, together with federal well being researchers, introduced Monday {that a} section 3 trial will start on the protection and effectiveness of one other COVID-19 vaccine — the fifth shot to achieve this ultimate stage of improvement.

“We’ve come this far, this fast, but we need to get to the finish line,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), stated in an NIH assertion.

Novavax will enroll 30,000 folks from 115 testing websites throughout the United States and Mexico, and testing is already underway in Britain. The vaccine — which proper now is named NVX-CoV2373 — is available in two doses and is designed to boost the physique’s immune response to the coronavirus’ distinctive spike protein.

The Novavax shot is considerably totally different from permitted vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in that it manufactures its personal antigens that mimic the coronavirus’ spike protein. However, these antigens “cannot replicate and cannot cause COVID-19,” the NIH stated within the assertion.

If section 3 trials show the Novavax vaccine to be protected and efficient, the shot has one large benefit over the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines: It wants solely commonplace refrigeration, not the freezing or ultra-cold temperature storage required by the primary two vaccines.

According to CBS News, two different pharmaceutical corporations, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen and AstraZeneca, even have section 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials underway within the United States.

Uptick in vaccine acceptance

When queried in polls performed earlier this yr, solely about half of American adults stated they deliberate to get any vaccine towards the brand new coronavirus. But after a largely profitable rollout this month of two protected and efficient photographs, lots of these preliminary doubters now say they will line as much as get their vaccine doses when their flip comes.

According to the Times, polls performed by Gallup, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Research Center all present vaccine acceptance charges rising from about 50% this summer season to greater than 60% and, in a single ballot, 73%.

That final quantity approaches the edge scientists have deemed obligatory for herd immunity, the place sufficient of a inhabitants is immune and the unfold of the coronavirus begins to recede.

“As soon as it is my turn to get the vaccine, I will be there front and center! I am very excited and hopeful,” Joanne Barnes, 68, a retired elementary faculty instructor from Fairbanks, Alaska, advised the Times.

Earlier this summer season, Barnes had advised the paper the other; that she would not get the shot. The game-changers for her, Barnes stated, had been “the Biden administration, returning to listening to science and the fantastic stats associated with the vaccines.”

With greater than 19 million COVID-19 circumstances within the United States by Wednesday and greater than 338,000 Americans now killed by the illness, extra folks than ever have now been personally affected by the brand new coronavirus. That harsh actuality may additionally be driving some to rethink getting the shot.

“More people have either been affected or infected by COVID,” Rupali Limaye, an skilled on vaccine habits on the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, advised the Times. “They know someone who had a severe case or died. They are fatigued and want to get back to their normal lives.”

Media campaigns, together with on-camera moments with politicians and scientists — similar to Vice President Mike Pence, President-Elect Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci — all rolling up their sleeves for the photographs might have additionally helped enhance acceptance.

Still, massive pockets of skepticism and resistance to vaccination stay. According to the Times, distrust of the vaccine is larger amongst Blacks than whites, amongst Republicans in comparison with Democrats, and amongst folks residing in rural areas versus these in cities.

Still, resistance is fading slowly amongst most teams, the Times stated.

One Black American, Mike Brown, runs a barbershop in Hyattsville, Md. This summer season he stated he would not get any COVID-19 vaccine, however has since modified his thoughts.

“The news that it was 95% effective sold me,” Brown advised the Times. “The side effects sound like what you get after a bad night of drinking and you hurt the next day. Well, I’ve had many of those and I can deal with that to get rid of the face masks.”

A world scourge

By Wednesday, the U.S. coronavirus case depend handed 19.5 million whereas the demise toll neared 339,000, in accordance with a Times tally. On Wednesday, the highest 5 states for coronavirus infections had been: California with greater than 2.2 million circumstances; Texas with over 1.7 million circumstances; Florida with virtually 1.3 million circumstances; Illinois with over 950,000 circumstances; and New York with over 950,000 circumstances.

Curbing the unfold of the coronavirus in the remainder of the world stays difficult.

In India, the coronavirus case depend was over 10.2 million on Wednesday, a Johns Hopkins University tally confirmed. Brazil had over 7.5 million circumstances and over 192,000 deaths as of Wednesday, the Hopkins tally confirmed.

Worldwide, the variety of reported infections handed 82 million on Wednesday, with practically 1.8 million deaths recorded, in accordance with the Hopkins tally.

More info

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extra on the brand new coronavirus.

SOURCES: Washington Post; The New York Times

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