“There has been an increase in troublesome variants of the COVID-19 virus like the B.1.1.7 that is more transmissible and deadlier than other forms of the virus. Each variant brings about new questions and could lead to an increase in cases in different American communities,” explained Dr. Wilson.
So far, the vaccines have shown to prevent serious side effects from all variants of COVID-19, but the medical community must constantly monitor the effectiveness of the vaccines against new strains.
This is not to say that all news is bleak. The CDC just released guidance that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks. This paired with news that all American adults should have access to the vaccine by the end of May are true causes for optimism.
“We are still at a point where human behavior will either lead to a quicker recovery or a slower one. The lifting of restrictions in states like Texas could cause a spike in cases that extends the need for restrictions in other parts of the country,” continued Wilson.
According to President Wilson:
• States reopening now will unfortunately serve as guinea pigs for what lifting mask and social distancing restrictions will mean.
• COVID-19 will be a part of our lives moving forward. It is likely that booster shots will be needed in the future and mini outbreak surges will occur at a community level.
• Similar outbreaks could be on the horizon. One way to get ahead of this would be to develop pan-virus vaccines, designed around broadly neutralizing antibodies that could individually target priority viruses, including potential SARS-CoV–2 variants, HIV, influenza subtypes, Ebola, MERs, and others