Texas hospitals are currently on the verge of collapse due to the Delta variant. 50,000 people around the state have already died from Covid-19. But if you thought that the pandemic will be over soon, I have some bad news. According to research published by Harvard Medical School, extremely concerning Covid variants could arrive in Texas at some point in the future:
"Delta's rise reinforced warnings by global experts that, in a connected world, leaving millions unvaccinated raises the likelihood that more transmissible — and even more lethal — variants will spread even to vaccinated nations. In fact, variants have continued to develop and spread since the emergence of Delta. The World Health Organization has designated variants Eta, Iota, Kappa, and Lambda variants of interest and is tracking 13 additional variants that originated in the U.S., Brazil, the Philippines, Indonesia, Colombia, and other nations."
The Covid-19 virus is constantly mutating. And according to experts, it's only a matter of time before variants arrive in Texas that can fully bypass vaccine-induced immunity with ease. That's why some argue that catching Covid and gaining natural immunity could offer better protection than solely relying on the vaccine. Quoting the BBC:
"You get a broader immune response after being infected with the virus than vaccination. Whether you've had Moderna or Pfizer or Oxford-AstraZeneca, your body is learning to spot just one thing - the spike protein. This is the critical part of the virus to make antibodies to, and the results - by keeping most out of hospital - have been spectacular. But having the other 28 proteins to target, too, would give T-cells far more to go at. That means if you had a real humdinger of an infection, you may have better immunity to any new variants that pop up as you have immunity to more than just spike."
According to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), a new Covid variant that could kill up to one in three people is a "realistic possibility." According to documents disclosed by SAGE, a future Covid strain as dangerous as MERS, which has a 35 percent case fatality rate, might arise.
Right now, the Lambda variant is in Texas. It's a variant that appears to be vaccine-resistant. Quoting The Hill: "A preprinted whitepaper published in late July focused on the mutation that distinguishes the lambda variant, denoted as C.37, within its S protein, found in the cell's binding receptor. The mutation at this location on the virus is associated with being resistant to immunization efforts. Using data from the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data database, researchers found three mutations within the lambda spike protein that could mean resistance to antibodies induced in humans by vaccines."
Since Lambda evades vaccine-induced immunity to an extent, a significant percentage of people who catch it are likely to develop symptoms and possibly end up in the hospital. If Lambda (or a similar variant) becomes dominant in the United States, many cities around Texas will need to rethink their strategy to combat Covid-19. After all, vaccine passports would become pointless if fully vaccinated people can still catch & spread the virus.
Are you concerned about the Covid-19 pandemic in Texas? Leave a comment with your thoughts.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered health advice. Therefore, please consult a doctor before making any significant medical decisions.
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