Okla. Doctors Discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Tackling New Strains Of Virus

Wednesday, January 27th 2021, 5:31 am
By: Katelyn Ogle

Oklahoma doctors said healthcare workers and researchers are already trying to get ahead of any new COVID-19 strains that come up.

In a panel hosted by News 9 political analyst Scott Mitchell, doctors said Moderna’s vaccine is effective against the United Kingdom COVID-19 strain, while Pfizer said it’s working on a booster shot that would help fight the variant.

The Fab Four, coined by Mitchell, said nearly every person tested for the virus in Oklahoma is also examined for the new strain.

“There are some tests in parts of the country,” said Dr. David Chansolme with Integris “there are some that the gene target may not show up on the test. But in Oklahoma, all of the tests will pick it up.”

The doctors said virus mutations happen often and vaccine manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to get ahead of it. That includes new influenza strains that sometimes pop up.

The only difference is the COVID-19 vaccines use Messenger RNA instead of a live virus, so a vaccine can be changed to tackle a new strain quickly.

“The way viruses mutate is by having lots and lots of cycles. The way we get viruses to stop mutating is by having fewer cycles. How do we get fewer cycles? By having fewer people infected,” said Dr. Chansolme.

The doctors said just by getting the vaccine that fights against the dominant strain will help fight against new mutations.

“The line has not changed. It fixes the stuff now. Get it,” said the doctor.