(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana health officials say they want as many Hoosiers as possible vaccinated against coronavirus before its mutations start gaining a foothold.
Indiana hasn’t seen Brazilian or South African variants of the virus yet. There have been 28 confirmed cases of a more infectious British mutation, and Indiana State Department of Health commissioner Kristina Box says there are probably more. The health department is randomly testing virus samples for the variants’ genetic signature, especially when there are clusters of infections that seem to be spreading more rapidly, or if someone who had the virus before is infected again.
Coronavirus numbers have improved dramatically in Indiana and most of the U-S over the last two months, but Box says she expects the mutations to push Indiana’s numbers up again after a two-month decline. She says some of the vaccines may be less effective in keeping you from getting sick from the variants, but says in data so far, they still appear to prevent serious illness.
Box says the mutations serve as a reminder not to let your guard down too soon. She says you still need to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and stay home if you have symptoms. And she says even Hoosiers who have been vaccinated should avoid contact against people who haven’t and are at high risk for serious illness.