As the hopeful news of COVID-19 vaccines being administered to healthcare workers, long-term care facilities, and the elderly, there’s also increased reason for caution to follow all COVID-related protocols, as a new variant the virus is working its way through the United States after first being discovered in England. This particular version of COVID-19 is said to be up to 70% more transmissible than the original virus.
Centers Choice Home Care has answers to frequently asked questions about the variant so you can help provide the best care and safety to your loved one.
How Did This Happen?
It’s common that viruses mutate and variants end up circulating, especially when dealing with a new virus. Many variants disappear but some stay due to unique characteristics, such as how this one is more contagious.
What Does it Mean if It’s More Contagious?
This means this version of the virus spreads more easily through the air—the same way the original virus spread. Being more contagious means that overall spread can be a bigger problem, so it’s important to still wear masks, social distance, and wash or sanitize hands after touching common surfaces.
Would I Get Sicker if I Catch This Variation of the Virus?
Your risk of catching COVID-19 increases with this variant, but it will not make you sicker. But a higher rate of cases can lead to more hospitalizations just by sheer numbers.
Will the Vaccine Be Effective Against This Variant?
This is perhaps the most important question, and the answer is yes but with some qualifications. Since the major vaccines already approved in the U.S. (from Pfizer and Moderna) work to create an immune response against genetic material culled from the virus, scientists believe the vaccine should work the same way against this variant as it does against the more common strain of the virus. Testing is underway to confirm these theories.
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