So far, the coronavirus pandemic seems to be calming down in San Diego. Despite the good news, variants are emerging on the scene making things more difficult.
Dr. William Tseng, the Assistant Area Medical Director at Kaiser Permanente, said variants are more tricky to navigate because unlike the original, the variants are considered to be more infectious.
“It fits into the environment better,” Dr. Tseng said. “So it’s more likely to transmit.”
For those who have yet to be vaccinated, that’s where challenges can arise. Dr. Tseng said at least with someone who is vaccinated, some sort of protection against the variants is provided in the event someone who is vaccinated gets what he calls an outbreak case. However, those who aren’t vaccinated, are more susceptible.
“What we’re seeing now is even on those cases that break through, you still have very good protection because again you may get some sneezes and some upper respiratory symptoms but you don’t up getting sick or getting very sick,” Dr. Tseng says, adding that the point of the vaccine is not to clear you from never catching COVID-19 but to save you from ending up in the hospital or worse.
Variants have emerged in San Diego County. One of the variants to recently emerge is the Brazil variant. So far, the county has seen 31 of these cases total since the first case was discovered in March.
Dr. Tseng says we’re slowly building toward herd immunity but despite more people getting vaccinated, it will take time and more people to actually achieve this to a point where it takes effect.