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COVID-19 Variant Strand Will Dominate, CDC Says

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The new COVID-19 variant could be the predominant strain by March, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

As of Jan. 13, over 76 cases of the variant spanning across 10 states have been found in the U.S., the CDC reported. The report declares the new strain will warrant “universal and increased compliance with mitigation strategies, including distancing and masking.”

In the U.K., the seven day average for new COVID-19 cases shot up from 14,718 cases on the week of December 7th to 52,818 on the week of January 7th, an increase likely caused by the new variant, according to CNBC.

The B.1.1.7 virus is nearly 56-70% more transmissible, The New York Times reports. Increased infections bring the danger of overloading the healthcare system, as beds become more scarce due to an influx of ICU patients from COVID-19. However, the new strain doesn’t cause any harsher symptoms or increase the death rate of the original coronavirus, according to CNBC.

Johnson & Johnson’s new one dose immunization is set to be distributed in the second half of February. J&J has a goal of producing one billion vaccines within the year 2021, meaning nearly a seventh of the population could be vaccinated by the end of the year with the J&J vaccine alone.

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