‘Scrabble variants’ of COVID-19 may add to winter surge

Coronavirus

NewsNation) — New subvariants of COVID-19 could contribute to a surge of cases this winter.

These subvariants have been called “Scrabble variants” because their names contain letters like “Q” that result in high scores in the board game.

Dr. Peter Hotez, who works at the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital and who gave the variants their new name, joined NewsNation Prime to discuss the new variants.

Host Natasha Zouves asked Hotez whether COVID-19 boosters can be effective against the new subvariants.

“It’s likely that the booster will hold up better against the Scrabble variants,” he said.

Zouves also asked Hotez about the continued effectiveness of rapid COVID-19 testing.

“They still hold up and they still have a good level of accuracy particularly for those who are shedding enough virus to infect your friends and colleagues and loved ones,” he said. “So testing and vaccinating, I know I sound like a broken record, but that is the reality. It’s going to be really important.”

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