NY’s First South African Strain of Covid-19 Confirmed on Long Island

south african strain
Getty Images

New York State’s first case of the South African variant of Covid-19 that is believed to be more contagious has been confirmed on Long Island.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the discovery during a news conference Sunday. The case was found in Nassau County, he said.

“We don’t believe this variant is more deadly but it may be more contagious,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran tweeted. “The best response is to continue tried & true precautions: #WearAMask, avoid social gatherings, stay home/get tested if sick.

A laboratory study suggests that the South African variant of the coronavirus may reduce protective antibodies elicited by the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE vaccine by two-thirds, and it is not clear if the shot will be effective against the mutation, the companies said on Wednesday.

The study found the vaccine was still able to neutralize the virus and there is not yet evidence from trials in people that the variant reduces vaccine protection, the companies said.

Still, they are making investments and talking to regulators about developing an updated version of their mRNA vaccine or a booster shot, if needed.

-With Reuters

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus.

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.