SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – New variants of COVID-19 have at least one epidemiologist sounding the alarm.

An advisor for President Biden says if we don’t start getting at least one vaccine dose, into the arms of as many people as possible, we could be in for a rude awakening.

“If we get another surge, the surge may be overpopulated with some of these variants,” Dr. Peter Chin Hong said.

They’re here, and they’re not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Coronavirus variants are popping up across the country and White House officials say most of the cases of new variant strains involve the one that was first detected in the United Kingdom.

“There are at least three variants in the Bay Area — the California variant, the UK variant, and most recently, the Brazilian variant are here, and I think all of that is making us concerned,” Dr. Chin Hong said.

UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin Hong says the worry is just how transmissible these variants are, especially since people are still actively dealing with the virus.

“COVID isn’t going away anywhere, we’re still about five times where we were in October,” Dr. Chin Hong said.

Getting vulnerable people vaccinated is the best way to keep us from seeing a surge.

When asked whether or not the country should just start giving out at least one dose of the vaccine to as many people as possible, Dr. Chin Hong says it might be the right call.

“If you had asked me two months ago, I would’ve been more leery of not following the science to the T but I think right now, again with these variants going around, we just need to get as many people immunized as possible and looking at the science you’ll get 80% of protection from Pfizer from after dose 1, and that immunity will probably last, so even if people are delayed by a couple of weeks for the second shot, it’s going to be okay and it’s just about getting us all to that level as soon as possible,” Dr. Chin Hong said.

Dr. Chin Hong says it’s important to remember we usually have a four to six-week honeymoon period in between surges so the main thing to do right now is mask up, double up if you’re able to, and continue to adhere to the social distancing rules in place.