The word is now out that there are several new strains of the coronavirus spreading around the world and now across the United States. Health officials are now racing to get Americans vaccinated before the variant forms of Coronavirus begin to overwhelm the country’s health system. What’s most concerning is that these new forms of the virus have been proven to be more transmissible than earlier strains, so it’s much easier for people to become infected.
The good news is that the number of new Covid-19 numbers are down in most states, and hospitalizations due to coronavirus are decreasing as well. Experts, however, warn that now is not the time to relax on precautions if we are to be prepared for the new strains. Continuing to wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, washing your hands, and social distancing are going to continue to be crucial moving forward.
In an effort to prepare for the new strains, there has been a push among health officials to get as many Americans vaccinated as possible in the coming months. According to the United States CDC, around 25.2 million people have received the first round of the vaccination, and approximately 5.6 million have received both doses. As corona variants spread, health experts are suggesting to give the first dose to as many people as possible. Both doses are critical for true prevention, yet speeding up the first stage could slow the spread of any variants.
Furthermore, the Biden Administration is working to increase the amount of at-home testing kits available to the public. Fully at-home tests from the company Ellume have been shown to be 95% accurate in about 15 minutes. The test uses an app on your smartphone to help perform the test and analyze the results from your home.
LastLy, providing states with enough supply of the vaccine is becoming a critical issue. The disparity of the vaccine across states and in neighborhoods that were hardest hit by the virus has been addressed aggressively by prioritizing appointments and adding new vaccine sites in these areas.