The new coronavirus variant “mu” is not at the moment posing a great risk to Americans, according to White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“We’re paying attention to it, we take everything like that seriously, but we don’t consider it an immediate threat right now,” Fauci said Thursday during a White House COVID response press briefing.
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Earlier this week, mu, known by scientists as B.1.621, was added to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “of interest” list of variants. The variant was first identified in Colombia and has been confirmed in at least 39 countries, according to the WHO.
“This variant has a constellation of mutations that suggests that it would evade certain antibodies, not only monoclonal antibodies, but vaccine- and convalescent serum-induced antibodies,” Fauci said. “But there isn’t a lot of clinical data to suggest that, it is mostly laboratory in-vitro data.”
“Remember, even when you have variants that do diminish somewhat the efficacy of vaccines, the vaccines still are quite effective against variants of that time,” Fauci added in conclusion, telling Americans that health officials are “keeping a very close eye” on what happens with Mu.
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Fauci also said during the briefing that he “would not at all be surprised if” three doses are required for Americans to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“I must say from my own experience as an immunologist, I would not at all be surprised that the adequate full regimen for vaccination will likely be three doses,” Fauci said, saying that he believes three doses will be in order to increase immune support against the coronavirus.
“If it is durable, then you’re going to have very likely a three-dose regimen being the routine regimen,” Fauci said, saying he would leave it up to other officials to determine how many doses of the vaccine should be taken.