SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana has now confirmed two cases of a COVID-19 variant, identified by scientists as the P-1 variant, which is popularly known as the Brazil strain, which, according to Dr. Jeremy Kamil, who operates the Kamil Lab at LSU Shreveport, is of some concern.
Kamil, associate professor of microbioloy and immunology at LSUHC, said his concern with the P-1 variant is “that it’s going to be able to infect people a little better who have already recovered from COVID-19,” adding that it’s still unclear whether the new variant can spread to people who have been vaccinated.
Although Kamil said people don’t have to worry as much about dying from coronavirus, but until science can come up with new vaccines or antibodies, we do have to be concerned about the possibility the strain can get past the defenses instilled by the current vaccines.
He says this is why it’s important to continue wearing masks, which can limit the new variants, adding that the variants make getting vaccinated even more important, as the vaccines still provide some defense, as opposed to none at all.
“The better job we do getting people to take the vaccine the less variants like P.1 will come up,” Kamil said.
Kamil says the point of COVID-19 vaccinations is to keep people away from being hospitalized, or worse, dying.
“If you got two shots of the Moderna or the Pfizer or you got that J&J, you’re going to be pretty well defended from the world’s worst disease,” he said.