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Health experts look for solutions to COVID-19 mutation – Wink News – Wink News

Posted: February 11, 2021 at 6:50 am


WINK NEWS

Health experts are working to determine the best solution to stop the spread of the coronavirus as it mutates. Among ideas being floated around would be to approve a new booster vaccine.

We spoke to experts to learn what they believe are the best options for us in Florida, as the CDC has confirmed the UK COVID-19 variant is already present in the state.

We will see B.1.1.7 related hospitalizations, and then we will see deaths to follow, said Dr. Atul Gawande, a former member of the Biden-Harris transition COVID-19 advisory board.

The South African and Brazilian COVID-19 variants are right behind it. I would expect those to be spreading and become significant, Gawande said.

Im very concerned, Gawande said. The vaccines however much we scale up distribution its not going to be fast enough to prevent the to address the problems of variants by itself.

Gawande says we also need to test more samples to discover variants and create more COVID-19 drugs and treatments. He says we also need to increase access to clinical trials for those new therapeutics and get them out to people faster.

Scientists are already working on booster shots to improve vaccine efficacy.

The FDA is in the middle of coming forward with a process that I expect to see in the next week or two for approving new boosters, Gawande said.

If its as simple as using a third dose of vaccine to get a stronger response against the variants, then, we are in a good place, said Dr. Kartik Cherabuddi, with UF Health.

Another option is updating the vaccines themselves to include more strains of the virus suach the flu shot.

If manufacturers go that route, Cherabuddi says it could take a little longer.

If we want to change the components of the vaccine itself, well have to do a few studies, Cherabuddi said. We dont have to go to the complete process, but it still needs to be studied.

The mRNA vaccines, those can be relatively rapidly updated to add the new encoded genetic variants, Gawande said. Our group of members, former members of the task force, did endorse that we move ahead with multivalent vaccine preparation.

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