On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that South Africa and Brazil had emerged from “more ominous” strains of COVID-19.
In addition to another extremely contagious one that was first identified in the United Kingdom, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said they were looking “very carefully” at the two new mutant forms.
Fauci told NBC anchor Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” “People need to realise there’s more than one mutant strain.”
“There is one that is essentially dominated by the United Kingdom… there is another more ominous one in South Africa and Brazil.”
Fauci said he doesn’t want “people to panic,” but they take “very seriously” the latest strains and research them to fully understand the danger they are facing.
Fauci said, “The British have made it very clear that [the strain found there is] more contagious.”
“They say it’s not virulent anymore. But, you know, we have to be vigilant because the more cases you get, even though it’s not more virulent on a one-to-one basis, which means that it doesn’t make you sicker or more likely to die, the more cases you get, the more hospitalisation, just by numbers alone.
He said they are also evaluating if the vaccines on the market would be immune to these mutations.
What we really want to look at carefully is the that mutation decreases the vaccine’s impact? “Said he. “And if it does, then we’re going to have to make some adjustments… We’re really very carefully looking at that.”