Coronavirus: Vaccine Tracker

COVID-19 variants from UK, Brazil found in Bay Area

Coronavirus

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Two mutations of the coronavirus raising concerns in other parts of the world have been detected here in the Bay Area.

The discovery was by doctors studying hundreds of samples collected at a Stanford lab.

One sample of the UK variant that has already been found in many states across the United States and in Southern California is now here.

This is the one that is particularly worrisome because it’s much more infectious than the strain we’ve already been battling against.

They also found one case of a Brazilian variant. Although it’s one of two Brazil mutations, and what detected here is the lesser of the two in terms of concern.

So far the Stanford lab has not detected the South African variant that some vaccines have found to be less effective against.

“We need to watch them very closely. Track how they’re doing, and we need to be prepared to produce vaccines against them should they take off. What does it mean to the individual? It means do what you’re doing right now. Be very careful. Wear a very good mask. Socially distance, don’t get together in congress settings. The Super Bowl is coming up next week. Don’t go to Super Bowl parties. Do the things that we know work,” said UC Berkeley Infectious Disease Expert Dr. John Swartzberg.

He stresses people should get vaccinated as soon as possible. A variant might creep up that could require a booster shot later.

But the vaccines we have now work against our most common strain.

And once you’re vaccinated, the variant won’t be able to create a new mutation inside you.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines we are getting here in the Bay Area have been working well against the UK version, which is expected to be the dominant strain in the next few months.

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