Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Tuesday announced that the state has registered the coronavirus variant earlier discovered in the United Kingdom.
"Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK", Polis tweeted. "The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely."
According to the governor's office, the individual infected with the new COVID variant is a "male in his 20s" and has no travel history. He is currently in self-isolation until cleared by public health officials, and he has no close contacts identified, so far.
Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK.— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) December 29, 2020
The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely. pic.twitter.com/fjyq7QhzBi
According to Polis, "a thorough investigation" has been launched by public health officials into the new COVID variant case - the first detected in the United States.
The new mutated novel coronavirus strain was first discovered in the United Kingdom and is said to be more contagious, rapidly replacing other versions of the virus.
Shortly after it was found across the UK, multiple nations temporarily suspended air travel with the country.
The new strain has also been reported in multiple countries including Denmark, Australia, Canada, Germany, the UAE, the Netherlands and many others.
Are Current Vaccines Effective Against the New COVID Variant?
As the novel coronavirus mutation spreads across more countries, many have questioned whether the existing vaccines are effective against the UK variant.
The head of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, said that its vaccine developed with Gamaleya Institute, Sputnik V, will work against the new variant.
The Oxford-developed AstraZeneca vaccine is believed to be effective against the new strain, as the scientists, according to what AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot told The Sunday Times, have figured out a “winning formula” for the vaccine to be as good as rival vaccines.
The Moderna company stated last week that tests of its vaccine against new strains are ongoing, but the firm expects the drug to be protective against the mutated variants, including the UK version.
Pfizer said it has started testing its vaccine against the new variant.
In the United States, where there are over 19 million coronavirus cases registered, two vaccines have been approved for emergency use: Pfizer and Moderna. Since then, many prominent political figures have publicly received the vaccines, including Vice President Mike Pence, US President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and others.