A leading epidemiologist warned on Thursday that it is only a matter of time before the highly contagious British variant of COVID-19 is raging in the United States worldwide.
“This B.1.1.7 surge is about to happen. It’s not an if problem. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“If you understand what happened in the past year, the upper parts of the Midwest and the Northeast will light up first. They have the first cases, and the southern solar belt states are close behind.” Osterholm said .
“Even if we see some cases in the area, please remember my words, in the next six to eight weeks, we will see the light in the area. We need to come up with more vaccines. This is the key now. Information,”
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more easily spread and potentially more deadly variants have been found in 49 states in Puerto Rico and Washington, DC.
Experts say that the United States should now concentrate on vaccinating as many people as possible with the first dose of vaccine.
Osterholm added that once more vaccines are available in the summer, the country should reduce the use of the second dose.
“I’m telling you now… we are just starting to proliferate. Denying it will not help us. We are walking into the mouth of this virus monster as if we didn’t know it was here. It’s here,” he said.
The epidemiologist added: “It’s time to do everything we have to do to slow down the spread, instead of opening up, we have to provide more vaccines to more people,”
Pfizer said that one day after the vaccine was 100% effective in a study of 12 to 15-year-old children, he made the comments.