It was first seen in Colorado in late December, said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden.
“Since then it has been found in 50 jurisdictions in the United States, and is potentially the cause of about 20 to 30% of infections in this country. And that number is increasing,” Fauci said.
“What is of concern is that there has been an almost 50% increase in transmission with this particular version which has been documented in the UK and is likely to increase the severity of the disease if infected with this version,” he said. said.
But the vaccine appears to protect well against B.1.1.7 and treatments such as monoclonal antibodies also appear to work against this particular variant, Fauci said.
He said that it is more important than ever to get people vaccinated quickly.
“The way we can combat 1.1.1, which is a big threat in our country, is to do two things: the more people know about working against this vaccine, the sooner and the more Get vaccinated as soon as possible, finally, to implement public health measures that we talk about all the time… masking, physical disturbances, and avoiding different settings, especially indoors, ”he said.
Vaccines provide protection from the B.1.1.7 variant
So far, the three vaccines that have won the Emergency Use Authority from the US Food and Drug Administration protect people well against B.1.1.7.
There is little evidence about the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson’s Jensen vaccine arm, although it was tested in the US after the introduction of B.1.1.7.
Both BioNTech and Moderna have helped coordinate several trials of their vaccines against the variant.
Ugur Sahin of BioNTech and his colleagues tested the blood of 40 volunteers immunized with the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine against lab-engineered versions of the B.1.1.7 version.
Virus can get more mutations
If more mutations were acquired by the virus, what worried them. Many variants are worrying doctors, including the first spotted B.1.351 variant in South Africa and the P.1 variant which is now common in Brazil. Both carry a mutation known as E484K that significantly erases the body’s immune response.
“Concerningly, we have shown that there are several B.1.1.7 sequences of E484K in the UK, including early evidence of transmission as well as independent acquisition,” he wrote.
Several experiments indicate that B.1.351 and P.1. Variants can very easily erase the immune response indicated by the vaccine and by some monoclonal antibody therapies, which deploy lab-engineered immune system proteins to promote the immune response.
Experiments have not been conducted using the recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but trials in the US began to spread after B.1.1.7; Was already the most common variant in South Africa after B.1.351; And became widespread in Brazil after P.1.
Although it was less effective against moderate illness in South Africa and Brazil than in the US, it strongly protected people against critical illness, hospitalizations, and deaths in clinical trials.
Viruses are mutated all the time, and some mutations have caught on in mutations originating in the US, most notably in California and New York. The changes they make include some changes that make the B.1.351 and P.1 variants much more dangerous than B.1.3.7. Therefore Fauci and the CDC say that those people should be made as important as possible before they can be differentiated.