Metro Health working to identify if new coronavirus variant has made its way to Bexar County

Researchers say COVID-19 vaccine should still be effective against new variant

SAN ANTONIO – Researchers are working on learning more about the new variant of coronavirus found in the United Kingdom. In San Antonio, the Metropolitan Health District is working to identify if the variant has made its way into our community.

Dr. Anita Kurian, assistant director of Metro Health, says the only way to confirm if the mutation has made it to San Antonio is by looking at the genomic sequence, which helps identify the strain.

Kurian said only a fraction of Bexar County’s COVID-19 cases go through that process.

“So this is a plea to the health care providers and the labs to be a little bit more consistent about sequencing every single case of COVID so we can detect any mutation that might occur at the earliest,” she said.

Researchers say all viruses tend to mutate, and the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be effective against the new variant. However, what is concerning is that the variant appears to be easier to spread among communities.

On Thursday, Africa’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevent said a new virus variant has also been found in Nigeria.

RELATED: Vaccines, therapeutics should still be effective against new coronavirus strand, San Antonio doctor says