SAN ANTONIO - UT Health San Antonio infectious disease specialists said that the continuance of social distancing and wearing masks, along with the COVID-19 vaccines are essential against the variant cases of the virus.
The specialists said the COVID-19 vaccines "strongly protect against multiple strains of coronavirus and show reduced but still significant efficacy against newer variants."
“The vaccines still have efficacy,” said Jason Bowling, MD, infectious diseases specialist at UT Health San Antonio and attending physician at University Hospital. “I hope that, especially with the waits for vaccines, the public will not get discouraged by the news about the variants.”
They said that most of the vaccine makers are already generating new vaccine candidates to booster the existing vaccines against the new strains.
The news about variants also emphasizes the need to continue with public health interventions such as avoiding large gatherings (especially indoors), masking and 6-foot social distancing.
“We know people are fatigued with them,” Dr. Bowling said. “But they are still critically important to mitigate spread while we are getting people vaccinated.”
“The data remain very encouraging as far as our ability to make vaccines that work against COVID-19,” said Barbara Taylor, MD. “While the process of getting America vaccinated continues, we must make sure people maintain social distancing and masking and all the precautions that we know work to stop the epidemic.”