(WHDH) — As millions of Americans are being vaccinated against the coronavirus, another variant has emerged.
The so-called “double mutant” variant has been discovered in San Francisco after first being detected in hard-hit India.
The variant got its name because it carries two mutations of the virus that helps it latch onto cells.
It is not yet known whether this new variant is more infectious or resistant to vaccines.
“To date we don’t know that the variants have completely escaped immunity, where for example, if you’ve been naturally infected or immunized you still may be hospitalized or in a ICU or die,” said Dr. Paul Offit, member of the FDA Vaccines Advisory Committee.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says part of the reason overall case counts are up 16 percent over the past two weeks is because of the variants.
There are currently more than 700 cases of the United Kingdom variant in Massachusetts.
While only one case of the “double mutant” variant has been reported in the United States, reports say doctors at Stanford University are screening seven other cases that could be the new strain.
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