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Current coronavirus vaccine will likely cover variant strains

As of Thursday, the CDC had identified 52 variant cases throughout the United States.

Posted: Jan 7, 2021 8:47 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2021 10:03 PM

As of noon on Thursday, the CDC reported that five states had identified variant cases of coronavirus. Alabama isn’t among them, but Dr. Ali Hassoun of Huntsville Hospital said he wouldn’t be surprised if it was already here.

“My suspicion -- we already have it in Alabama,” he said. “Probably, they haven’t yet looked at it or they didn’t sequence it.”

Though no evidence of variant strains have been found in Alabama, doctors say they may be here.

Currently, Florida and California have the most cases, each with at least 20.

While millions still wait to be vaccinated, Hassoun said these strains should not be cause for concern since they will be protected by the current vaccine.

“Most of the evidence suggests that it’s going to be covering that,” he said. “There is actually ongoing studies to look at that in detail, but most of the evidence suggests now that, yes, it’s going to do that.”

Even though the vaccine should protect against these mutated strains, Hassoun said you need to be careful due to the seemingly easier and quicker spread, though it doesn’t appear to be more dangerous.

“There’s really no evidence that it causes more mortality or hospitalizations,” he explained.

According to the CDC, most of the cases are currently in Florida and California, but one case has already been identified in neighboring Georgia. Hassoun said it's only a matter of time if it’s not here already.

“My suspicion,” he said, “we already have it in Alabama. Probably, they haven’t yet looked at it or they didn’t sequence it.”

Whether or not the new strains are here, Hassoun says people should stay focused on the original, since it is much more prevalent.

He added that he thinks the state should speed up the vaccination process, feeling that we’re currently wasting valuable time.

According to Dr. Karen Landers, the state has sent 25 samples to the CDC for testing --- none have had the variant strains detected so far.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 439442

Reported Deaths: 6657
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson644371007
Mobile31435569
Madison28158217
Tuscaloosa21492275
Montgomery19873332
Shelby19248132
Baldwin17128189
Lee13137107
Morgan12594142
Etowah12070181
Calhoun11496206
Marshall10420123
Houston8988164
Limestone832081
Cullman8257124
Elmore8183110
DeKalb7871107
Lauderdale7847107
St. Clair7808130
Talladega6445112
Walker6028183
Jackson599145
Colbert548694
Blount546286
Autauga535862
Coffee460764
Dale409685
Franklin374150
Russell354215
Chilton344373
Covington338580
Escambia334544
Tallapoosa3143109
Dallas312996
Chambers303470
Clarke298036
Pike262431
Lawrence253355
Marion253161
Winston233342
Bibb222348
Geneva210247
Marengo208231
Pickens199531
Hale184944
Barbour180538
Fayette177829
Butler173160
Cherokee165131
Henry159525
Monroe152021
Randolph145536
Washington141727
Clay129746
Crenshaw123745
Macon121937
Cleburne121525
Lamar119922
Lowndes114836
Wilcox107922
Bullock103328
Perry99918
Conecuh97822
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63418
Choctaw51924
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 705876

Reported Deaths: 8819
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby783871172
Davidson72746692
Knox39988439
Hamilton35697337
Rutherford34042295
Unassigned23786134
Williamson22041144
Sumner18744232
Out of TN1629183
Montgomery15092149
Wilson14797164
Sullivan12932220
Blount12321133
Washington12148204
Maury11264131
Bradley1116398
Sevier10787121
Putnam10170152
Madison9309183
Robertson788687
Hamblen7213117
Anderson6983114
Greene6749115
Tipton636869
Coffee576982
Gibson5739116
Dickson557082
Cumberland554476
Bedford543091
Roane532481
Lawrence522169
McMinn520374
Carter5191116
Warren510455
Loudon506351
Jefferson493378
Dyer485286
Monroe470363
Hawkins458672
Franklin422865
Fayette412651
Obion405882
Rhea390657
Lincoln387246
Marshall356538
Cocke355760
Cheatham348531
Weakley345148
Henderson337059
Campbell336440
Giles332476
Carroll317160
White316946
Hardeman314754
Hardin305450
Lauderdale298834
Macon293951
Wayne270124
Henry267858
Overton259546
McNairy247142
DeKalb247042
Haywood245047
Marion235332
Smith234830
Trousdale230715
Scott229732
Hickman228935
Claiborne227432
Fentress216734
Grainger216039
Johnson205034
Morgan194616
Crockett183138
Bledsoe178011
Chester178039
Unicoi170045
Cannon161420
Lake158421
Decatur148828
Polk148517
Union144725
Grundy143122
Sequatchie141119
Humphreys137217
Benton133835
Lewis130921
Meigs118216
Stewart111220
Jackson105923
Clay96526
Perry95925
Houston94824
Moore8349
Pickett69020
Van Buren6738
Hancock4187

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