MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — New research shows vaccines are working against variants spreading around the United States, according to the Association of American Medical College (AAMC).
Doctors say dozens of variants have been identified. Clinical trials show the Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines are effective against these variants.
“We have the India variant, South African variant, the Brazilian variant and we see those variants show up in the United States,” AAMC’s Chief Healthcare Officer Dr. Janis Orlowski said.
The CDC and AAMC recently said the U.K. variant, also known as B.1.1.7, is the most dominant COVID-19 strain in the U.S.
Variants, such as one from the U.K., may not necessarily be more deadly, medical experts say, but appear to be more infectious and spread faster.
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Variants happen when there is a slight change in the protein or cell. Research shows those changes may have the ability to reinfect people who have recovered from an earlier strain of COVID-19.
“I think we are in a race right now with everyone getting their vaccine and the variants coming out and being more predominant in the country. It’s a race to get everyone vaccinated and what we hope to do is bring things back to normal if more people can get vaccinated,” Dr. Orlowski said.
While more than 100 million people are vaccinated, medical experts say they are still racing to encourage vaccinations to stay ahead of emerging variants.
To vaccinate more people in communities, the AAMC is partnering with the CDC to build vaccine confidence.
The AAMC works with over 150 schools of medicine and 400 hospitals. Doctors say there is still vaccine hesitancy in communities and even the healthcare industry.
“There are some healthcare workers reluctant to get vaccinated. So the first thing we need to do is to understand what people’s concerns are and get all the healthcare workers are and then out to the public,” Dr. Orlowski said.