Video COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 16, Will the vaccine protect against new variants?

Photo of covid-19 virus magnified under a microscope with the text, "COVID-19 Why it Matters: Vaccine protect against variants?"

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID-19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.

Part 16: Will the vaccine protect against new COVID-19 variants?

Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 16, Will the vaccine protect against new COVID-19 variants?

Hi, I’m Brian Merkel, Microbiology and Immunology, and I am here to talk about why COVID-19 matters to you.

We get asked quite a bit these days has to do with this new variant the so-called UK strain of COVID-19. We play a role in this. Yes, the virus is unstable but the less that we comply with the 3W’s, wearing masks, watching our distance, and washing our hands, the more opportunities we give this virus to do these kinds of things.

What we know about the UK strain is that it’s about one and a half times more contagious than the original strain which, was already highly contagious. We are concerned about that, but you need to know that the 3W’s still work for this particular strain, too. What we know about the UK strain, fortunately, is that if you’re vaccinated, through prior exposure to COVID-19, either through naturally being exposed or being exposed through immunization, this will give you the protection against the UK strain as well.

So, it just means that we really have to commit to compliance and adhere to the safeguards that are recommended as difficult as that is right now because this is getting very tiresome. But we don’t want to provide additional opportunities for this virus to become something slightly different.

COVID-19 Why it Matters Video Series:

Introduction with Brian Merkel

Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from

Part 2: Two main types of viruses

Part 3: Why is this virus serious?

Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask?

Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care?

Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start?

Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask?

Part 8: Why does everyone need a flu shot this year?

Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine?

Part 10: Where can I find accurate information?

Part 11: What type of mask should I wear?

Part 12: Why HUGE COVID-19 spikes in Wisconsin?

Part 13: Fall break, protect yourself & others

Part 14: Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important?

Part 15: What are COVID-19 Antibodies?

Part 16: Will the vaccine protect against new COVID-19 variants?

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