WACO, TX – A new strain of COVID-19 is making headlines in the U.K., and many Central Texans are wondering how effective the vaccine may be against it.
In the Waco, McLennan County press conference Wednesday, doctors and officials addressed what’s being called B.1.1.7; a new strain of COVID-19 in the U.K. that according to officials is more transmissible but not a cause for immediate concern here.
“Most virologists have commented publicly believe that the vaccine will be equally effective on this variant,” said Jackson Griggs, chief executive officer of the Waco Family Health Center.
“Some say there might be a trivial decrease in effectiveness, but population wise, nothing meaningful… but the research is ongoing.”
Baylor Scott & White Temple’s Chief Medical Officer Stephen Sibbitt said even though the new strain has not reached the U.S., it’s imperative we continue to social distance and wear masks.
Another big question for many Central Texans have, will the vaccine become like the annual flu shot?
“In reality, is there a chance? Absolutely,” he said.
“This may become like a flu-vaccination that’s required each year, I think what needs to be determined is how long the immunization will last.”
In the meantime, health officials are driving home the importance of getting the vaccine when it becomes more available to the public.
““It is not only protecting you, but when you become immunized, you’re helping protect your loved ones, your family members and the community at large,” Sibbitt said.