Health Team

Health experts: COVID-19 vaccine can help fight against variants of virus

Posted February 2, 2021 5:38 p.m. EST
Updated February 3, 2021 2:38 p.m. EST

— A month ago, the United Kingdom identified a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus.

It's the same variant the state Department of Health and Human Services identified in an adult in Mecklenburg County.

The Center for Disease Control says at least 32 states are reporting cases of new variants.

Health experts said it's a scary thought.

“I was concerned myself the other day when I heard they were popping up in South Carolina," said Dr. Matthew Hong, the principal investigator at Wake Research.

Data shows that Novavax is 89.3 percent effective against coronavirus. Against the U.K. variant, it's shown to be 85.6 percent effective.

Hong, who is in charge of enrolling patients in the Novavax trial in Raleigh, said he's received a lot of questions about the new variants.

"All of the research labs have shifted their flocs and are now working on their new variants and people are concerned," he said.

Hong added that any vaccine available will help lessen the impact of coronavirus, or any other variant.

"A good example is the flu shot -- that's only 40 to 60 percent effective but what we do see from that is that it lessens the disease, so if you come down with the flu your body isn't completely taken by surprise. It's got antibodies that can work against it," said Hong.

Hong added that if you're still waiting to get a vaccine to continue wearing a mask, maintain social distancing and avoid large crowds to help lessen the chances of transmission.

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