By Susan Heavey and Carl O’Donnell
WASHINGTON, Apr 7 (Reuters) – The highly contagious variant of COVID-19 first discovered in the United Kingdom has become the most common strain of the virus in the United States as cases continue to climb, a health authority said on Wednesday. American.
The strain, known as B.1.1.7, was identified in the UK last fall and has since been detected in 52 US jurisdictions, said the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. , Dr. Rochelle Walensky, at a media briefing at the White House.
US public health officials have urged citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible, in part to prevent the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.
The United States has also detected cases of a variant first discovered in South Africa that is believed to be resistant to some COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. That strain has been found in 36 jurisdictions, according to federal data last updated Tuesday.
The United States administered an average of 3 million daily doses of COVID-1 vaccines over the past week, 8% more than the previous seven-day average, Walensky said.
The supply of vaccines has increased significantly in the United States in recent weeks, as Johnson & Johnson began producing millions of doses of its recently licensed injections. Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna also recently increased their vaccine production capacity.
Still, daily coronavirus cases in the United States averaged 63,000 in the past seven days, 2.3% more than the average for the previous seven days, Walensky said.
He also noted that the CDC has identified a number of COVID-19 outbreaks related to youth sporting events and that communities experiencing high numbers of cases should avoid holding such events. The tests should also be done twice a week, he noted.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Jeff Mason and Carl O’Donnell; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)