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El Paso expert says getting vaccinated can help slow emergence of new variants

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) — As COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide, new variants continue to emerge across the globe.

Health experts say the continued spread of the virus leads to the emergence of new variants, and the best defense is continuing to vaccinate the public.

Last month, a new variant was identified in a Texas A&M University lab. A single case led to only mild symptoms. A scientist in the lab said the variant combines generic markers that are separately associated with rapid spread and severe disease. 

Overseas, a new variant is causing concern in India. Some evidence suggests the variant could spread more easily between people.

A local epidemiologist said the public should not worry about these new variants and instead focus on getting the vaccine.

The CDC also says current data shows vaccines in the U.S. protect against most variants. 

“We have to understand that there's a lot more fear about the variants than is substance, but let scientists figure that out,” Dr. Ogechika Alozie said. “Let's focus on getting vaccinated.” 

“I think it's important, as we've gone through this pandemic, that people continue to realize that the information is coming out so quickly,” Dr. Alozie said. “It's really bad to jump to any conclusions.”

If you have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine, you can find a calendar of various pop-up vaccination events here

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.

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