First Case Of COVID-19 Variant From South Africa Confirmed In NY Resident

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A Lengthy Island resident in Nassau County has the primary recognized case of the COVID-19 variant from South Africa, Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced on Sunday. The extremely transmissible B.1.351 variant, first recognized in South Africa, could scale back the effectiveness of some vaccines.

A examine printed final week within the New England Journal of Medication discovered that the flexibility of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine to neutralize the South African variant was diminished by two thirds. In January, Moderna additionally stated that its vaccine was much less efficient in opposition to the B.1.351 variant in lab experiments, however that its vaccine would nonetheless present some extent of safety in opposition to the variant.

Drugmakers Novavax and Johnson & Johnson additionally introduced on the finish of January that their vaccine candidates, which have but to be licensed to be used by the FDA, seem like considerably much less efficient in opposition to the South African variant. Their analysis does point out their vaccines are holding up properly in opposition to the unique coronavirus and the U.Okay. variant, which Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), predicted might develop into the dominant COVID-19 pressure within the U.S. by the top of March. The U.Okay. variant is at present doubling within the U.S. roughly each ten days, in response to a examine launched on February seventh.

Earlier this month, South African well being officers paused the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after a examine discovered “disappointing” outcomes in opposition to the B.1.351 variant. The nation had obtained 1 million doses of the vaccine and was about to start out administering it to the general public.

Within the U.S., the variant has to this point been detected in at the very least 9 states, together with a Connecticut resident who examined constructive for the variant whereas hospitalized in NYC final week. The U.Okay. variant is at present extra prevalent in New York State, with 70 circumstances confirmed in response to the CDC, and Cuomo has stated the state is at present in a “footrace” between the unfold of the brand new variants and the variety of folks vaccinated.

“With the invention of a case of the South African variant within the state, it is extra necessary than ever for New Yorkers to remain vigilant, put on masks, wash arms and keep socially distanced,” Cuomo reiterated in an announcement on Sunday. “We’re in a race proper now — between our skill to vaccinate and these variants that are actively making an attempt to proliferate — and we’ll solely win that race if we keep good and disciplined.”

The statewide constructive testing fee for COVID-19 is at present at 2.99% over a seven-day common, in response to Cuomo’s workplace, which famous that that is the primary time the statewide positivity fee has dropped under 3 % since November twenty third. State Well being Division information exhibits NYC at a 4.4% constructive testing fee over a seven-day common.

Additional particulars concerning the Nassau County resident with the South African variant was not instantly accessible. It is unclear if the person has lately traveled in a foreign country. Nassau County Government Laura Curran stated in an announcement, “We don’t consider the South African variant is extra lethal, however it might be extra contagious.”

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