New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks out on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on November 15, 2020 at Riverside Church in Manhattan, New York City, United States.
Andy Kelly | Reuters
Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that a variant of Covid-19, first identified in South Africa, has reached New York.
The governor said at a news conference that the mutation, which experts fear may be resistant to some vaccines, was discovered in a resident of Nassau County. The announcement comes days after a Connecticut resident tested positive for the variant in a New York hospital.
“It is more important than ever for New Yorkers to stay vigilant, wear masks, wash hands, and stay socially aloof. We are currently in a race between our immunity and those variants that are actively trying to reproduce and we’ll just do it. ” You can win this race if we stay smart and disciplined, “said Cuomo.
The South African variant, known as B.1.351, was first discovered in the US in late January and has been found in at least 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 21 infections have been reported in the country.
The mutation is one of three strains of very high concern monitored by the agency, along with variants that were first identified in the UK and Japan.
The CDC has said preliminary evidence from untested publications suggests the Moderna vaccine may be “less effective” against the South African variant. It was indicated that further studies are needed.
The Moderna vaccine is one of two federally approved vaccines in the United States. Three other vaccines are currently in clinical trials.
Cuomo’s announcement came as the number of new cases and hospitalizations continued to decline in New York and across the country. Some public health experts have warned that the new mutations that are believed to be more transmissible could reverse these trends.
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