Health experts warn of COVID-19 variant dangers

A health educator said Illinoisans may be in line for another vaccination in the future.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports a total 1.3 million probable cases of the COVID-19 in Illinois, with 23,165 deaths.

Northern Illinois University Public Health educator Beth Squires said a COVID-19 shot could become an annual event, even for school children.

“There is a potential that we might need a booster shot because the virus does have variants,” Squires said. “It is doing what a virus does. It’s something called amplification where it mutates slightly in order to better infect the population.”

U.S. public health officials are concerned about the Delta variant spreading throughout the country. White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday the highly contagious variant is the “greatest threat” to the county’s attempt to eliminate COVID-19.

Delta, first identified in India, now makes up about 20% of all new cases in the United States. There have been 84 reported cases in Illinois.

World Health Organization officials warned the variant is the fastest and fittest coronavirus strain yet, and will “pick off” the most vulnerable people, especially in places with low COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Squires said there may be more new and dangerous variants that develop in the future.

“That is just how the viruses work,” Squires said. “They constantly are replicating and they try to mutate in order to continue to improve on how they replicate.”

Illinois has reported 9,582 cases of people infected with variant strains.

Fauci said the U.S. has the tools to defeat the variant, urging more Americans to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to “crush the outbreak.”

The White House said Tuesday that it likely won’t hit President Joe Biden’s goal of getting 70% of American adults to get one vaccine shot or more by the Fourth of July.

This article was originally posted on Health experts warn of COVID-19 variant dangers

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