FACT FINDERS: With new COVID-19 variants, are we close to our vaccines not working?

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 6:45 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As we see new, more dangerous variants of COVID-19 like Delta emerge, how long will it be before our current vaccines no longer work?

We know that viruses mutate and new variants will emerge. The CDC says there are several variants of the virus in the U.S. and scientists are studying them carefully.

Dr. Sean Elliott at Tucson Medical Center says one study found the Delta variant to be 40% to 50% more contagious than the U.K. variant which itself was found to be 50% more contagious than the original strain. So, that begs the question: As we see more mutations, are we getting close to our current vaccines being ineffective at stopping them? Dr. Elliott with T.M.C. and Deepta Bhattacharya with the University of Arizona weigh in.

”The longer we go with active virus in the world, not just the United States but the world, the greater the chance that a mutation or mutations will occur to create a super variant which is resistant to all the vaccines we have or which is highly deadly. And so far, we have not reached that point but the Delta variant is a concerning step in that direction,” said Dr. Elliott.

”I don’t foresee any variants coming up real soon that puts us right back to ground zero. It’s just not going to happen any time soon,” said Bhattacharya,

While they say the vaccines authorized in the U.S. are still working well against the variants out there, Dr. Elliott urges everyone to get vaccinated to help stop further mutations.

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