MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Researchers at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine collaborated with the University’s Health System and Jackson Memorial and found several contagious strains of the coronavirus have made their way to South Florida.
But a new vaccine may help tackle the problem.READ MORE: Time To Clean Out Those Medicine Cabinets, DEA To Hold Annual Prescription Drug Take-Back With Drop-Off Locations Throughout South Florida
Friday, an FDA panel recommended the approval of the country’s 3rd coronavirus vaccine.
“This is very exciting this is yet another vaccine, it’s another home run,” said Dr. Ross Kettle a professor of Immunology at the University of Colorado.
The FDA’s full authorization of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could come as early as Saturday, but they did confirm the vaccine is only 66% effective overall, much less than both Moderna and Pfizer.
But the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is 85% effective in preventing severe illness and it provides complete protection against Covid-19 deaths 28 days after getting the shot.
“I would not pass on a vaccine that would keep you out of the hospital,” added Dr. Kettle.READ MORE: Houston Rockets: Sterling Brown Attacked, Injured In Miami
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has other advantages, it’s one shot rather than two, it can be stored for longer periods and in cooler temperatures. But the news of the 3 coronavirus vaccine recommendation comes as UM researchers find more contagious strains of the virus locally.
“We’re seeing about 25 percent of the positive samples actually reflect the UK, the variant that came over from England,” said Dr. David Andrews with the UM School of Medicine.
But, the UK strain is just the tip of their discovery, “It’s been fascinating to see our strains from Brazil, California, New York. We are turning up a more diverse array of strains,” added Dr. Andrews.
Dr. Andrews says they did not expect to find so many variants of the virus and because they tend to be more contagious they are urging additional caution especially to protect from the UK strain.
“We do have pretty good evidence, especially with the UK variants that it is easier to transmit, the other things is the evasion or the immune escape that is the vaccines don’t work as well, and the third one is the increase in virus variance when it infects someone it is more likely to cause severe disease,” said Dr. Andrews.MORE NEWS: US Coast Guard Searches For Missing Swimmer In Miami Beach
To protect yourself from the different Covid-19 strains, Dr. Andrews says you should continue to social distance, wear masks, and get vaccinated. As for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, if it gets approved this weekend, they could be ship as early as next week.