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COVID-19 Bulletin (02/15/21)

Cases and deaths are on the way down, but the U.K. variant is spreading fast in Texas.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins reported 1,824 new cases on Saturday and Sunday, with 18 deaths across both days.  “As vaccinations continue to become more readily available, and if we can continue our resolve to make the small sacrifices of patriotism to keep ourselves, our community and our country as strong as possible until we can reach herd immunity we will defeat COVID much sooner than if we falter in our resolve,” he tweeted.

UT Southwestern and state health authorities say that the U.K. variant of COVID-19 is spreading quickly in Texas. The version can’t be detected by normal COVID-19 tests, and requires genetic sequencing. The vaccine provides adequate protection against the UK variant, but it is likely that booster shots or newer versions of the vaccine will be required as mutations occur, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Texas has launched a $2.3 million effort to combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, which is still an issue in many communities. Some surveys show that as much as 40 percent of the population are hesitant to get the shot, the Texas Tribune reports.

More than 50 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed nationwide, WFAA reports. That includes the Moderna and Pfizer versions of the vaccine, and the CDC says 37 million people have received at least one dose.


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