A new variant of the Covid-19 virus is spreading in the New York City area and throughout the great NYC region. Most worrisome to scientists is that the strain is believed to be resistant to current vaccines.
Researchers report that the new variant, known at B.1.526, was first detected in New York in November. Since then, it has spread rapidly throughout the Northeast.
A study published by scientists at Columbia University on Thursday indicates that this new variant is resistant to vaccines and is increasingly populating the community. Researchers examined 1,142 samples and discovered that 12% of the people infected with coronavirus had received the mutated version of the virus. They found an increasing rise in the mutated virus occurring from mid-December through mid-February, “with an alarming escalation rate to 12.3% in just the last two weeks.”
Viruses often mutate. In fact, in the body, a virus can mutate billions of times. The question, however, is whether that mutation will take hold and whether it will be passed on to other individuals.
Then, of course, the concern becomes whether that mutation can resist a vaccine.
At present, the fear is that this new variant in New York City and the surrounding areas including in Westchester County and possibly parts of Connecticut and New Jersey, is highly contagious and may not respond to current vaccines.