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Fauci Says Quick Vaccinations Needed to Slow Variants

More variants are expected by March

The best defense against emerging variants of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic is getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, top U.S. infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci said on Monday.

Nearly 700 cases associated with coronavirus variants have been identified in the United States, U.S. officials said on a press call. Of them, 690 cases are from a more transmissible variant first discovered in the United Kingdom called B.1.1.7, which could become the dominant variant in the United States by March, the officials said.

The United States has not been testing widely for variants, so the actual number is likely higher than official figures. All viruses mutate, but scientists are worried about changes in the virus that make it more transmissible or more deadly.

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