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Variants of Viruses Explained by Wicomico County Health Department

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Virus

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear.

Other times, new variants persist. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Viruses constantly change and become more diverse.

Scientists monitor these changes, including changes to the spikes on the surface of the virus. By carefully studying viruses, scientists can learn how changes to the virus might affect how it spreads and how sick people will get from it.

Variants in the United States:

B.1.1.7 (Alpha): This variant was first detected in the United States in December 2020. It was initially detected in the United Kingdom.

B.1.351 (Beta): This variant of the virus was first detected in the United States at the end of January 2021. It was initially detected in South Africa in December 2020.

P.1 (Gamma): This variant of the virus was first detected in the United States in January 2021. P.1 was initially identified in travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at an airport in Japan, in early January.

B.1.617.2 (Delta): This variant was first detected in the United States in March 2021. It was initially identified in India in December 2020. This variant seems to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths. So far, studies suggest that the current authorized vaccines work on the circulating variants. Scientists will continue to study these and other variants of the viruses.

Wicomico Co. Health Department Vaccine Clinics:

July 28 1pm-3pm Wicomico Youth and Civic Center (Moderna, Pfizer, J&J) – https://www.marylandvax.org/appointment/en/reg/1960020935

July 30 9am-11am Wicomico Youth and Civic Center (Moderna and J&J) – https://www.marylandvax.org/appointment/en/reg/5913296003

August 3 5pm-8pm Newton St. Community Center (Moderna, Pfizer, J&J) – https://www.marylandvax.org/appointment/en/reg/8962199150

August 5 5pm-8pm Westside Community Center, Bivalve (Moderna and J&J) – https://www.marylandvax.org/appointment/en/reg/1569990221

August 14 11am-2pm VFW Main St (Moderna and J&J) –
https://www.marylandvax.org/appointment/en/reg/0867291991

The WiCHD will offer the Janssen (1 dose), Moderna (2 doses) and Pfizer (2 doses 12yrs old and up). To make an appointment go to the link listed under the date, email Wicomico.covidvax@maryland.gov or call (410) 341-4600.

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