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Vaccination Race Against Variants

The race is on to vaccinate enough Americans before highly infectious COVID variants get a foothold. It has now been more than a year since the Coronavirus first arrived in the U.S. Now, more transmissible forms of the Virus could threaten to undo much of the progress we’ve made so far.

In some ways, Americans may feel the beginning of a light at the end of the tunnel. The number of people hospitalized from COVID-19 dropped below 100,000 on Saturday for the first time since December first. Only one State right now – Louisiana – is seeing an increase in new cases compared to the previous week. And more than 30 Million doses of the Vaccine have been administered so far.

Ron Yabroudy, who’s about to turn 89, got both doses of the Pfizer Vaccine, which showed 95% efficacy during trials. Moderna’s trials did similarly well, but these modest signs of progress come amid a troubling development: in the U.S., there are more than 400 cases of the variant first identified in the UK and variants first identified in South Africa and Brazil have turned up in a handful of U.S. States this week, causing some Health Experts to sound the alarm.

While new research is promising, it’s not yet clear if those Vaccinated could still get sick or even die from the variants. A troubling thought, especially as we close the month of January with the most deaths of any month since the first reported case in the U.S. a year ago.

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