The White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, pointed a news briefing on Thursday that the so called ‘Mu’ variant of the coronavirus that the WHO designated as a “variant of interest” earlier this week is still not considered an immediate threat in the US, but it’s taken very seriously.
The World Health Organization noted earlier that the ‘Mu’ variant, known by scientists as B.1.621, has been confirmed in at least 39 countries after it was first identified in Colombia, but Fauci added that it is not even close to being dominant in the US where the delta variant remains the cause of over 99% percent of cases.
Meanwhile, Mu has been increasingly prevalent in South America, where it currently makes up 39% of cases in Colombia and 13% in Ecuador.
The ‘Mu’ variant of the coronavirus, as the country’s top infectious-disease expert explained, will most likely evade not only monoclonal antibodies, but also those produced by the vaccines since it is a constellation of mutations, but noted there’s only laboratory in-vitro data to conform that and not much clinical data.
Still, that didn’t stop him from reiterating that all vaccines are still quite effective though variants do diminish somewhat their efficacy, adding also that he would not be surprised Americans are required to get a third dose of vaccine to be fully protected against the coronavirus.
Fauci, emphasizing his own experience as an immunologist, said that if it is durable, that the possibility of a three-dose regimen becoming the routine regimen is very likely, but added that he would leave it up to other health officials to determine the number of doses that should be taken.
Meanwhile, pending reviews by federal health agencies, the US is expected to roll out coronavirus booster shots later this month.