“We do expect – we haven't proven it 100%, but we will soon – we do expect that the vaccines now being administered or under development will cover this strain very well,” Giroir told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
The new variant appears to be more transmissible, but not more deadly.
“It'll still be prevented by a mask and distancing,” said Giroir. “It is not more serious. In other words, you're no more likely to die or be hospitalized with this.”
Giroir said it is likely that the variant has been in the US for a while.
“It's very unlikely that it's rampant, but I think it's certainly been here,” he said.