ORLANDO, Fla. – New cases of the UK variant of the COVID-19 virus are being reported across the county.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting 611 total cases of the COVID-19 variant in the United States, with Florida leading the way with 187 cases.
At least 16 cases of the UK variant have been reported in Central Florida.
News 6 sat down with Dr. Jarod Fox, an infectious disease physician at Orlando Health to ask him a variety of questions on COVID-19 and the new variants.
Lauren Cervantes: Will people have to get inoculated every year for this like the flu shot, or will this be something where you get the initial vaccine and then get a booster every few years?
Dr. Jarod Fox said right now they don’t know the answer to this question. He said that most of the vaccine candidates are working on booster shots towards a number of the variants, but added they might not be needed. Companies are working ahead and producing the boosters in the event they are needed, according to Dr. Fox. He said, as of right now, most of the vaccines are effective against the variants that have presented.
Lauren Cervantes: Are younger people more susceptible to the new variants of the virus?
As of right now, Dr. Fox said they don’t believe that one population is more susceptible than another.
Lauren Cervantes: Are the vaccines that are out there right now effective against all of these variants?
Dr. Fox told News 6 that both Moderna and Pfizer have done studies and that their vaccines are still effective against the variants. That being said, he said they are less effective against the South Africa variant than they are the UK variant.
Lauren Cervantes: Can the virus mutate to the point where the COVID-19 vaccines are no longer effective?
This would be the ultimate concern, according to Dr. Fox. He said we aren’t near that point yet. He said there is always that chance if we don’t get the infections under control.