It just had to be us. Of all the strains that formed in this pandemic, the one that went on to cause a new wave of global panic comes from South Africa. Both the UK and New Zealand are co-ordinating emergency responses to the SA variant, which has been found in both countries – and Dr. Anthony Fauci is scrambling to stop this mutation reaching the USA.

Dr. Fauci on the SA variant of COVID-19

Late on Sunday, the Biden Administration confirmed that they would be implementing a ‘travel ban’ on visitors from South Africa, only allowing US nationals to return home from Mzansi – subject to a period of quarantine. Fauci, who has become the face of the COVID-19 response in America, spoke to The Today Show about the threat of the SA variant.

Let’s be blunt for just a moment, here: This strain is more transmissible, and as Dr. Fauci highlights, it does have the ability to reduce the efficacy of a vaccine by diminishing the body’s antibody response. Yet it’s not all doom and gloom…

Is the South African strain vaccine-resistant? ‘No evidence’ to prove this is the case

In fact, President Biden’s Chief Scientific Advisor spoke rather reassuringly on how the current crop of vaccines will fare against the SA variant. US research shows that there’s ‘only a slight drop’ in the success of a vaccine when treating our homegrown mutation. In fact, Fauci confidently stated that vaccines ‘will be quite effective’ against 501Y.V2:

“We are more concerned about the South African strain right now. It shows that antibodies are impaired in the presence of these particular variants. However, there’s only a slight bit of diminishment in the vaccine’s efficacy against it – and we have something of a cushion here: We think our vaccines are effective against both the UK and SA variants right now.”

“We aren’t taking it lightly at all. These things continue to evolve. I don’t want people thinking vaccines won’t be effective against them – because they are. We must rather prepare to ‘upgrade vaccines’. The ones we have work, but we are taking precautionary steps… Biden’s decision to block almost all travel from South Africa is quite prudent.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci

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Presh JM Reporter

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