‘No proof but’ NYC coronavirus variant causes reinfection, impacts vaccines: well being officers


New York City well being officers on Monday stated there is no such thing as a proof but to again issues {that a} coronavirus variant first detected within the metropolis threatens to cut back vaccine efficacy, results in reinfection, or inflicts extra extreme illness.

The feedback by town well being commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi, and senior advisor for public well being, Dr. Jay Varma, comply with issues made over the weekend by former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. Gottlieb advised CBS’ “Face the Nation” it was unclear whether or not the B.1.526 variant was behind surging infections in elements of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island the place the positivity price is nearing 15%.

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Gottlieb famous the New York variant shares a mutation with a regarding variant first detected in South Africa, which has proven to decrease vaccine efficacy, with documented instances of reinfection in beforehand contaminated people — albeit uncommon, although seemingly undercounted.

The metropolis well being commissioner stated the New York variant seems to be “extra infectious than different strains”, however there is not sufficient data to reply questions concerning elevated virulence, vaccine efficacy and reinfection.

“We don’t but have sufficient data to have the option to reply these questions definitively,” Chokshi stated, later including, “so far we would not have any proof that signifies that it causes extra extreme illness, or results in reinfection or will cut back the effectiveness of vaccines however we are going to proceed to analyze this and preserve the general public up to date on our findings.”

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Gottlieb pinned the uncertainty to underneath surveillance, or inadequate sequencing of instances, particularly amongst these vaccinated or beforehand contaminated. He stated officers want to begin sequencing instances “way more aggressively,” although metropolis well being officers tried to guarantee the general public Monday that they’re in truth “rigorously” analyzing the info, per Chokshi.

Varma additionally defended metropolis officers’ efforts in inspecting the info.

“There is concern completely that some variants, together with the strains that are actually extra widespread right here in New York City, could also be much less aware of vaccines or you will have much less safety from prior an infection,” Varma stated. “We haven’t seen that thus far in our knowledge, we’ve been analyzing it repeatedly…we’ve been trying very aggressively and actively…”

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Nevertheless, officers say the identical mitigation measures to stop an infection stay the identical; put on masks, observe correct distancing, keep hand hygiene, get examined incessantly and settle for the primary vaccine that turns into out there.

Citywide coronavirus instances, hospitalizations and deaths are all declining, in accordance with metropolis knowledge. A seven-day common for every day infections stories 2,475 instances as of March 17, in comparison with a January peak topping 6,000.



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