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COVID-19 variant accelerates vaccine deployment | Local news

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Boston — Medical experts say the state must speed up COVID-19 vaccination to combat the rapidly spreading infectious mutations in the virus.

In a live-streaming hearing on Tuesday, several experts told two Beacon Hill committee members that the vaccine was effective in protecting against the new “mutant” of COVID-19. As I said, the epidemic of these mutations shoots into the arms of those who are highlighting the need to get more.

“This is actually a race between vaccines and mutants,” Dr. Danbaruch, director of the Virology and Vaccine Research Center at Beth Israel Hospital, told lawmakers. “Therefore, vaccine deployment really needs to accelerate in the United States and around the world.”

Mr. Bharuch said this is important to protect uninfected people and to “prevent the emergence of new variants in the future.”

“New variants can be even more worrisome than current variants, so the best defense against them is to accelerate vaccine deployment and reduce the overall pandemic,” he said. It was.

Dr. Paul Bidinger, Head of Emergency Preparedness at Massachusetts General Hospital and Director of the Disaster Medical Center, said Massachusetts is doing more to detect newer variants than any other state. He said a “comprehensive, state-wide approach” was needed.

He said the analysis and detection of variants is more difficult than basic testing. “It takes expertise and equipment to do it well,” he said.

As of Monday, the Department of State reported at least 1,405 cases of three COVID-19 variants. This is an increase from 1,068 cases two weeks ago.

The majority were the first B.1.1.7 mutants detected in the United Kingdom, which became the predominant strain. Cases associated with other subspecies B.1.351 and P.1 first detected in South Africa and Brazil are also increasing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 19,554 B.1.1.7 mutants have been reported nationwide. There are 324 B.1.351 cases in 36 states and 434 P.1 cases in 28 states.

Massachusetts has the highest number of cases of Brazilian strains nationwide, with 113 cases.

Nonetheless, no expert recommended a dramatically modified strategy to combat the virus or rollback of school reopening plans.

Dr. Benjamin Linas, an epidemiology professor at Boston University School of Medicine, said the epidemic of coronavirus mutants should discourage the state from a planned return to full-time face-to-face instruction at school this month due to the mutation. It doesn’t seem to be targeting school-aged children who said they weren’t.

“I don’t see sick children rushing to the hospital,” Linus said.

Studies show that masks, social distance, and other precautions minimize the risk of infection in the classroom.

Meanwhile, other studies have shown an increase in “warning” of mental health problems from students who have been in distance education for over a year.

“We’re not talking about safety and returning to school,” he said. “Variants are still a concern … I don’t think they will rise to a level where they should accept the mental health crisis for fear of COVID risk.”

Christian M. Wade covers Salem News and its sister newspapers and websites on the Massachusetts General Assembly.Email him [email protected]..

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