Several new coronavirus variants have been identified in the United States in recent weeks, and scientists are grappling with whether these strains threaten the country — and, if so, how.
One thing experts agree on, though, is that the available vaccines have outperformed expectations — even when it comes to what are known as the “variants of concern.”
“This virus is not invincible, and despite all these variants, the vaccines are working great,” said Jeremy Kamil, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport. “That is really outstanding and people should be celebrating that.”
While it’s likely that other variants will continue to emerge as pockets of outbreaks simmer around the country, Kamil said that alone isn’t cause for alarm. Rather than fret over each new strain that is identified, he said the most important thing Americans can do now is try to contain the virus by staying safe and getting vaccinated, particularly because the vaccines are so effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths.