Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm believes that in the past few months, due to the mutation of the coronavirus, the fourth wave of infections is occurring in the United States.
Osterholm, who is a member of President Biden’s COVID-19 Transition Advisory Committee, said that despite highlighting that existing vaccines appear to be effective against them, these variants pose a major problem.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, Osterholm said: “I believe that in some ways, we are almost in a new epidemic. “The only good news is that the current vaccine is effective against this particular B.1.1.7 variant.”
B.1.1.7 is also known as the “British variant”.
Scientists worry that this variant is more likely to spread than the original coronavirus and may also render the recently developed vaccine useless.
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So far, these vaccines have been shown to be effective in preventing infections, but Osterholm pointed out that this particular mutation has caused many other problems.
One of the main concerns Osterholm emphasized is that B.1.1.7 seems to be more toxic in children.
Osterholm explained: “Now they are infected with the same level of adult infections as children.” “They are very effective in spreading the virus.”
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He said: “In the past two weeks alone, we have opened 749 case schools in Minnesota.”
According to GreatSchools.org, there are 5,123 public and private PK-12 schools in Minnesota, which indicates that 14% of schools in the state have reported coronavirus cases.
Osterholm did not recommend a blockade of the country, mainly because it “absolutely resists” any form of blockade.
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Osterholm said: “There is no country in the world that has seen a substantial increase in B.1.1.7, but it has not been locked. We are an exception.” Comparison between the United States and Europe in terms of vaccine distribution.
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He called this variant a “game changer” and insisted on focusing on the next two to three months-as long as people continue to receive vaccinations and follow basic health guidelines, including hand washing, wearing Masks, dressing and social distancing.
“No one wants to be the one who should die three days before the COVID shot was taken. This is what we are trying to avoid now.”