Around the country, COVID-19 variant cases are on the rise. And the state of Florida has seen more of these cases than any other state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the variants of concern right now include one first identified in the United Kingdom, one spotted in South Africa and one found in Brazil. Every U.S. state has reported at least one of these variants, but the one from the U.K. is the most dominant right now, with over 15,000 cases so far in the United States.
Dr. Larry Brilliant is an epidemiologist and the founder of Pandefense Advisory. He is worried about the variants. “We seem to be getting not only many variants, but variants of concern, almost every week,” he said.
Health experts have said booster shots may be needed to target emerging variants, but the vaccines we already have offer some protection. This week, Floridians aged 16 and over became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is resulting in more people lining up to get their dose.
One of these is Freddy Mendoza, an 18-year-old Miami-Dade resident who visited the Overtown Youth Center vaccination site to get his shot.
“I’m a little nervous,” said Mendoza as he stood in line. “There aren’t many studies done on the vaccine, but I am doing it for my parents and because I am traveling as well.”
He said that getting inoculated is up to each individual, but he recommends everyone get it.