New Strains of COVID-19: What Does This Mean for Vaccination?

With coronavirus variants from places like the United Kingdom and Brazil now in the United States, more vigilant practices are necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, new strains of the virus have appeared, which has led to questions of how to best deal with these more dangerous variants.

A commonly discussed tactic to dealing with the emergence of new coronavirus strains from the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa in tandem with the slow rate of vaccinations is to delay the second dose of the vaccine. According to NPR, the variant from Brazil is considered to be the most worrying because its makeup “allows the virus to spread more quickly to help it evade the immune system.” The variant from the U.K. is considered to be more lethal that the original strain.

Dr. Anthony Fauci recommends that people continue getting vaccinated, as viruses cannot mutate if they aren’t replicated. Along with immunization, the continued practices of using face masks, handwashing and social distancing are cited as the best ways to prevent the spread of these new virus strains. According to Michael Worobey, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, there is no evidence that suggests the variants are resistant to the vaccine.

“Once we vaccinate everyone, the virus is going to experience a much stronger selective force to come up with new variants that escape immunity to some degree,” said Worobey. “Where there’s a big rollout of vaccines, over the next several months, we’re going to see that mutation process accelerate.”

Worobey also noted that as the coronavirus mutates, the vaccine may need to be updated sometime in the future, though it is not known when that will need to happen.

About the Author

Nikki Johnson-Bolden is an Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022


    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue