New research on how COVID-19 vaccines affect children and nursing mothers, and the government’s own estimates of severe side effects in teenagers, is putting scrutiny on the CDC’s recommendation that all ages stay “up to date” with newly authorized formulations.
Fully vaccinated versus unvaccinated children under age 5 were roughly as likely to require medical visits among those testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 in a large California study, challenging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s claim that the shots “protect children against severe disease and hospitalization.”
You can call it a “road diet,” or “15 days to stop the spread,” or a “fifteen minute city,” or a “smart city,” a “central bank digital currency,” or just an EV that comes with a virtual leash attached in the form of limited range and limited recharging options.
An analysis of death certificates in Minnesota has found that the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) repeatedly omitted the COVID vaccine as a potential cause of death in its classification data. A source provided the Brownstone Institute with the death certificates for all deaths that occurred in Minnesota from 2015 to the present.
Legislation that would use federal agencies to “nudge” social media platforms to reduce the spread of “harmful content” isn’t going anywhere in the waning days of the 117th Congress.
As evidenced by the ongoing release of the “Twitter Files,” however, that’s no impediment to the government — and the research universities that so heavily depend on federal funding — enlisting Big Tech to promote favored narratives and throttle competing arguments on contentious topics.
Federal agencies and U.S. universities together have funded or sponsored a dozen studies mentioning Facebook and COVID-19, according to the National Institutes of Health’s ClinicalTrials.gov database.
Children under 12-years-old in the United Kingdom will no longer be offered COVID injections, except for those in clinical risk groups, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed this week. The agency said the offer of COVID shots to healthy 5 to 11-year-olds was always meant to be temporary.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said children who had not turned five by the end of last month would not be offered a vaccination, in line with advice published by the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in February 2022. UKHSA said the offer of Covid jabs to healthy five to 11-year-olds was always meant to be temporary.
Pfizer hired 1,800 additional full-time employees in the first half of 2021 to deal with “the large increase” of adverse reactions to its COVID vaccine, newly released secret documents reveal. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine was made available under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) on Dec. 11, 2020. By February of 2021, the company was seeing so many safety signals, including in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, it had to immediately hire 600 employees to process the data.
Board-certified funeral directors and embalmers are coming forward to tell tales of horror featuring vaccinated bodies with veins and arteries clogged with strange, rubbery, worm-like clots.
Richard Hirschman, a funeral director and embalmer from Alabama, with over twenty years of experience in the field, has said in recent interviews that he had never seen anything like it until around the middle of 2021, after the mass injections of the experimental COVID vaccines began. He says his colleagues in the field are seeing the same thing, and the numbers are increasing.
Anew CDC report states a prior case of COVID-19 protected people from infection better than vaccinations did during the delta wave last summer and fall.
The findings were published Wednesday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and is based on new research from the agency and health officials in California and New York that appears to contradict public health messaging that pushed for vaccinations.
Still, experts say the vaccination shots remain the safest way to protect against the worse side effects of contracting COVID, according to NBC News. During the height of the virus’s delta-variant surge last summer, essentially all hospitalized COVID patients were not vaccinated.
Federal workers with naturally acquired immunity to COVID-19 filed a class-action lawsuit Monday against the federal government over the Biden administration’s mandate that all federal workers be vaccinated against it as a condition of employment. The mandate doesn’t allow for exemptions for religious or other reasons, including having natural immunity.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil liberties group, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation on behalf of 11 individuals.
Those named in the lawsuit include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief COVID Response Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and over 20 officials including cabinet heads, as well as several task forces and several federal agencies. They include the U.S. surgeon general, director of CDC and OPM, the secretaries of the departments of Veteran’s Affairs, FEMA, FPS, OMB, Secret Service, USGA, among others.
A major healthcare company has severed a longtime partnership with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after Rodgers revealed that he had contracted COVID-19 while unvaccinated and criticized what he said were the unreasonable politics surrounding the COVID vaccine.
Rodgers this week slammed what he characterized as a “woke mob” perpetuating a “witch hunt” against individuals unvaccinated against COVID-19. The football player himself has taken criticism for not getting the shot and subsequently contracting the disease.
Hospitals worldwide are being swamped with patients suffering from serious illnesses that are not believed to be COVID-related. Health officials say that the phenomenon is due to people avoiding visits to the doctor during the pandemic, and paying for it later. Others say that emergency rooms are filling up with people with vaccine injuries.
Mark McGowan, the premier of Western Australia said in a recent interview that the country is seeing a huge uptick in hospitalizations, and no one knows why.
Major tech companies are continuing to require their employees to be vaccinated at their Texas facilities, in violation of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning all vaccine mandates.
Abbott signed an executive order on Oct. 11 prohibiting “any entity,” including private businesses, government contractors and local schools, from imposing a requirement that employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment. However, Google, Facebook, HPE, Twitter and Lyft have yet to lift their vaccine mandates in response to the order, Protocol first reported.
HPE spokesman Adam Bauer confirmed the company had not changed its vaccine policy, and told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the company was making “vaccination a condition of employment for U.S. team members to comply with President Biden’s executive order and remain in good standing as a federal contractor.”
On Thursday, the United States Navy announced its intentions to discharge any and all sailors who have not yet taken the coronavirus vaccine, according to Fox News.
The Navy’s press release on the matter declares that November 14th is the final deadline for sailors to receive the vaccine, while the deadline for reservists is December 14th. In addition to being discharged, sailors who refuse to get the vaccine may also lose some of their veterans’ benefits.
“Those separated only for vaccine removal,” the statement reads, “will receive no lower than a general discharge under honorable conditions. This type of discharge could result in the loss of some veterans’ benefits.” In addition, the statement said that the Navy “may also seek recoupment of applicable bonuses, special and incentive pays, and the cost of training and education for service members refusing the vaccine.”
On Tuesday, the University of Colorado’s hospital system declared that it will no longer allow organ transplants for patients who have not yet received the coronavirus vaccine, as reported by The Daily Caller.
The decision was made after it was revealed that patient Leilani Lutali, who is currently on the system’s kidney transplant list, has not been vaccinated. Her would-be donor, Jamie Fougner, is also unvaccinated.
The most common disorders reported after COVID-19 vaccinations in the U.S. include temperature-related issues (226,457), skin problems (174,793), and a category that includes movement, muscle, nerve, neuropathy, numbness, and paralysis (164,200).
That’s according to an original analysis of the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
President Joe Biden craves a cure for cancer. In a speech to Congress this spring, he vowed to “end cancer as we know it.” And as vice president, he helped start the Cancer Moonshot initiative.
Yet by giving his backing to a global waiver of intellectual property (IP) rights for COVID-19 vaccines, President Biden may have endangered millions of Americans living with cancer.
This month the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report. As with the previous five reports, it is bursting with dire “projections” about the future of the planet and civilization (they never say “predictions” because there is always some accountability and embarrassment when a prediction turns out to be wrong).
I’m no climate scientist, so I can’t claim to hold a research-based opinion on “global climate change,” as it is now known. But I remember exactly when I started taking the “projections” of bodies like the IPCC with a grain of salt. It was when the “Climategate” scandal came to light in 2009, in which a hacked server resulted in a leak of internal emails from climate scientists at the prestigious Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain.
The leaked emails clearly showed that researchers were withholding important information from the public—information that would undermine the apocalyptic claims of climate scientists. For example, illustrious expert Kevin Trenberth acknowledged to his colleagues that “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty.” But rather than admit this uncertainty, researchers colluded to “hide the decline” from the public.
Dr. Anthony Fauci came under fire this weekend for suggesting that he may ultimately advise against group gatherings for Christmas this year.
Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that it remains “too soon to tell” whether Americans for a second year in a rowwill be told not to gather in groups around the holidays.
“We have to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time,” he said.
Backlash against the White House’s chief medical adviser was swift as many right-leaning commentators and pundits said that enough will never be enough for Fauci when it comes to lockdowns and extreme precautions against COVID-19.
The federal government has “no authority” to tell Americans “what they can or cannot believe” when it comes to religious exemptions to vaccinations, the president of non-profit political advocacy group CatholicVote.org told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Thousands of Americans are seeking religious exemptions to vaccine mandates, citing reports that some of the vaccines were developed using aborted fetal cell lines, but pressure from activists, commentators and mandate-minded lawmakers suggests that the religious objections may face more serious inquisition in the coming weeks.
BioNTech, the vaccine maker collaborating with Pfizer, is set to seek worldwide approval for its COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11 within the coming weeks, according to company executives.
“Already over the next few weeks, we will file the results of our trial in five to 11-year olds with regulators across the world and will request approval of the vaccine in this age group, also here in Europe,” Chief Medical Officer Oezlem Tuereci told Der Spiegel, according to Reuters.
A COVID vaccine declination form from a Wisconsin health provider, Hudson Physicians, says that the employee must understand that by declining they are “endangering” others. The form also states that by signing the form, the employee is acknowledging that “COVID-19 is a serious virus.”
MCALLEN, Texas — Several illegal migrants told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they aren’t responsible for spreading COVID-19 in America.
Migrants who illegally crossed into the U.S. near the Hidalgo Point of Entry on Aug. 10 in a group of about 20 people said they weren’t worried about catching COVID-19 at any point in the journey to their final destinations in America.
“Everywhere people are getting infected,” a vaccinated man from Ecuador told the DCNF after illegally entering the U.S. near the same location on Aug. 7. “It’s honestly not that the migrants are bringing the virus. It’s everywhere.”
United Airlines announced Friday that it will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting this fall, making it the first major airline to do so.
“We know some of you will disagree with this decision to require the vaccine for all United employees,” United CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart announced in a memo. “But, we have no greater responsibility to you and your colleagues than to ensure your safety when you’re at work, and the facts are crystal clear: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated.”
The order requiring proof of vaccination will go into effect five weeks after the Federal Drug Administration officially gives full approval of the COVID-19 vaccines, or by Oct. 25, whichever comes first, The Hill newspaper reports. The FDA is expects to start giving full approval as early as next month.
It was always going to be Herculean to inoculate, with an untried vaccine, a multi-ethnic nation of 330 million, across a vast continent—in an era when the media routinely warps the daily news.
Some minorities understandably harbored distrust of prior government vaccination programs.
Fast food chain McDonald’s is requiring all its staff and customers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to resume wearing masks in its restaurants in areas deemed high risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The company first announced its new rules in an internal memo to franchisees and workers, CNBC reported. The rules, which went into effect Monday, follow updated guidance last week from the CDC, which recommended fully-vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors to prevent the spread of the delta variant of coronavirus.
McDonald’s told the Daily Caller News Foundation the change in policy was due to the CDC’s updated guidance, and said the company was following the science in making its decision.
It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. It may not be next week. It may not be this month, when the rapid ascension of the Delta variant in the United States could send confirmed daily case counts spiking to 200,000 or more before settling down again. It may not even be next year. But someday, you will almost certainly be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
This uncomfortable fact may come as a surprise to many Americans, particularly to those who have spent hours sanitizing surfaces and groceries, who have dutifully adorned a mask even when not required to do so, and who have made the simple, science-backed decision to get vaccinated. SARS-CoV-2 has already spread around the world, infecting hundreds of millions or more. The genie is out of the bottle, and it is not going back in.
“We will be dealing with this virus forever,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, said in an interview one year ago.
The Los Angeles Unified School District this week announced that students and employees returning to in-person instruction in the fall would be forced to undergo weekly testing even if they’ve been vaccinated against SARS-Cov-2.
“All students and employees, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, returning for in-person instruction must participate in baseline and ongoing weekly COVID testing,” Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly told media this week. “This is in accordance with the most recent guidance from the Los Angeles County.”
Though the district policy is making no distinction between unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, Reilly herself stressed the importance of getting vaccinated anyway.
It has been determined that one of the studies used by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to justify the strict new mask mandates was not only rejected by peer review, but was also based on a vaccine that is currently not authorized for use in the United States, the Daily Caller reports.
The controversial study came from India, where scientists there studied “breakthrough infections” in over 100 healthcare workers who had received a vaccine but still caught the coronavirus, determining that the COVID-19 India variant, also known as the “Delta” variant, produces a higher viral load than other strains of the coronavirus. This was one of the pieces of evidence used by the CDC to claim that even vaccinated individuals should wear masks, since the India variant is allegedly capable of being transmitted by vaccinated individuals to unvaccinated individuals.
Despite admitting that the study in question involved a vaccine that has not been approved in the United States, the CDC’s report said that such studies “have noted relatively high viral loads and larger cluster sizes associated with infections with Delta, regardless of vaccination status. These early data suggest that breakthrough Delta infections are transmissible.”
Studies on how COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility are “in the works,” but some are still in the planning stages, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Anxieties over whether the COVID-19 vaccines impact fertility have discouraged some U.S. women from obtaining the vaccines, though the CDC has not found evidence that coronavirus vaccines “cause female or male fertility problems.”
After the Food and Drug Administration issued the first Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020, researchers found that the five “most queried terms” on Google were “COVID Vaccine Fertility,” ” COVID Vaccine and Infertility,” “COVID Vaccine Infertility,” “COVID Vaccine Fertility CDC,” and “COVID 19 Vaccine Infertility,” according to a June 2021 study.
CBS 62 Detroit Meteorologist and Multimedia Journalist, April Moss, was officially fired from the station this week after blowing the whistle on the network’s discriminatory practices regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
Moss decided to sit down with Project Veritas founder and CEO James O’Keefe to discuss the behind-the-scenes discrimination and bias after Fox 26 Houston reporter Ivory Hector last week used Veritas to expose how her superiors were trying to “muzzle” her reporting on Hydroxychloroquine.
Moss told O’Keefe that, like Hector, she too was worried that the liberal slant at her station was negatively impacting the public.
The greatest threat America faces isn’t “white supremacy” or any foreign power, but America’s own ruling class. China understands very well that Americans have less to fear from Chinese armies than they do from their own Stasi-like informants with “In This House, We Believe . . . ” signs on their front lawns.
The Chinese have a word for this demographic: baizuo, which literally means “white left.” It’s a political pejorative referring to narcissistic white American liberals.
In a time of vaccine passports, “disinformation,” and make-believe insurrections, the anti-social, authoritarian tendencies of this lot have never been a clearer menace to America and its tradition of civil liberty.
Governor Newsom announced Thursday a $116.5 million vaccine incentive program including $1.5 million in cash prizes to encourage Californians to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
California follows other states in offering big vaccine incentive payouts, New York is giving out scratch-off tickets for the chance to win up to $5 million, according to Politico.
“California has already made incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19, with the lowest case rates in the country while administering millions more vaccines than any other state,” Newsom said in a release. “But we aren’t stopping there, we’re doing everything it takes to get Californians vaccinated as we approach June 15 to help us fully reopen safely.”
A concert promoter in Florida is selling $18 discounted tickets to an upcoming show for those who have been vaccinated and charging $999.99 per ticket for those who have not, ABC News reports.
Paul Williams of Leadfoot Promotions in Tampa Bay is organizing the concert which is set to take place on June 26 at the VFW Post 39 venue in St. Petersburg. It will feature performances from three punk rock banks: Teenage Bottlerocket, MakeWar and Rutterkin, according to the report.
Posters for the punk event feature an image of “Nightmare on Elm Street” killer Freddy Krueger with needles for fingers and the Leadfoot Promotions booking page advises attendees to bring their “COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card” showing they have had two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on or before 6/12/2021.
A Christian nonprofit legal group has sent a letter to the University of Alabama-Birmingham after the public university blocked a student from registering for classes because she would not take vaccines.
The letter from First Liberty Institute asks university officials to follow the religious exemption it granted Jackie Gale for her first year at school. The university does not currently mandate the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Due to Ms. Gale’s religious beliefs, she cannot receive the childhood immunizations UAB requires under its immunization policy,” Christine Pratt, counsel for First Liberty, wrote in a May 13 demand letter.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control did an about-face, announcing that the fully vaccinated among us may resume normal activities. The news came more than a year after California initiated the first lockdown on March 19, 2020.
The CDC’s new posture comes with some narrow exceptions. If you’re traveling on a plane or find yourself in a homeless shelter or in a medical or correctional facility, you still need to wear a mask; and the CDC made sure to clarify, apparently out of great deference for federalism and Hayekian spontaneous order, that its guidance does not predominate over the requirements of federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
Before the CDC updated its pandemic guidance, this was exactly the position espoused by libertarian law professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law. Writing from his regular perch at the legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy, Somin’s argument is summarized nicely in the subheading of his piece, “Free the Vaccinated from COVID Restrictions”: “Doing so will protect constitutional rights, reduce vaccine hesitancy, and increase liberty—all at once.”
Facebook’s “fact-checkers” cannot agree on the legality of university COVID vaccine mandates.
Disagreement about the legality of the COVID vaccines is understandable — The College Fix explored this topic several weeks ago in our own article, but the problem is that a Facebook fact-check on an article can lead to reduced distribution.
And enough strikes against a page can lead to a permanent ban. The College Fix has seen this firsthand, after Facebook overlords punished us for sharing the comments of an epidemiologist who made a prediction about what would happen if lockdowns were lifted.
At least 40 percent of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employees are refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine according to NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and FDA official Dr. Peter Marks.
During a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing Tuesday on efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Richard Burr (R-Va.) asked Fauci, Marks, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky what percentage of their own employees were vaccinated.
Both Fauci and Marks estimated that a little more than half—perhaps around 60 percent of their employees—have been vaccinated. Walensky waffled, saying only that she was “encouraging employees to get vaccinated,” but couldn’t say how many have actually done so.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told schools nationwide on Saturday they should plan to keep students in masks because of the limited vaccinations of children.
“CDC recommends schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year,” the agency said in new guidance for students issued just days after it cleared vaccinated adults to ditch their masks in most instances.
“All schools should implement and layer prevention strategies and should prioritize universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing,” it added.
Some Latino adults are concerned to get a COVID-19 vaccine because they might have to provide identification or are worried it could affect their immigration status, according to a poll released Thursday.
Of the total number of unvaccinated Latino adults who were polled, 39% said they were concerned about potential requirements to provide a government-issued ID or Social Security number to be vaccinated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Vaccine Monitor poll. And 35% of respondents expressed concerns that receiving the vaccine could negatively impact their own or a relative’s immigration status.
“Among unvaccinated Hispanic adults, those who are potentially undocumented, those without health insurance, and those with lower household incomes are more likely to express potential access-related barriers or immigration-related concerns to vaccination,” according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said fully vaccinated Floridians should go maskless despite the CDC’s recommendations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rivkees rescinded previous public health advisories on Thursday through a three-page advisory saying state offices should return to in-person working environments and long-term mask-wearing can cause unintended consequences.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the municipality is putting together a plan to relax its mask mandate by as early as June.
“We are working with the department of health on a plan to phase reducing requirements of wearing facial coverings and social distancing,” Demings said. “We are reviewing how CDC requirements are evolving along with COVID infection data and a plan will be announced soon.”
Border officials in south Texas consistently face exposure to COVID-19, don’t have the resources to do their job and are regularly called in for overtime shifts, two active agents told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Many Customs and Border Protection (CBP) field agents work 50-hour weeks and now are required to report for 10-hour long overtime shifts even after they are exposed to migrants who test positive for COVID-19, an active CBP agent told the DCNF. The agents spoke on the condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak with members of the media.
“CBP gives us a job, but they seem more concerned with getting the job done than with the actual agents,” an active agent told the DCNF. “They want the mission to succeed. We don’t have the resources we need to do our jobs but we make do with what we have. We don’t have enough agents, transport, technology, or aircraft to help us out.”
On Tuesday, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) publicly petitioned for the World Health Organization (WHO) to let the Chinese government take charge of a proposed “vaccine passport” system for the entire world in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic that China started, as reported by Breitbart.
The proposal appeared in the Global Times, a Chinese government-run newspaper, which said that China could utilize its connections to Big Tech companies in order to build and sustain an international tracking system for any individuals who either have or have not yet received a coronavirus vaccine.
As more people receive vaccines across the U.S. coronavirus cases have continued to fall, but one-third of Americans still say they will not get one, according to a Thursday NPR/Marist poll.
While 45% said they would get vaccinated and 22% said that they had already received a shot, 30% of Americans said they would not get one, the poll showed. Among Republicans, 41% said they would not take one, compared to just 11% of Democrats.
Those unwilling leapt to 49% among Republican men, while just 6% of Democratic men said the same.
Pfizer said Wednesday that real-world data suggests its coronavirus vaccine is 94% effective in halting asymptomatic infections and effective against a highly transmissible variant first discovered in the United Kingdom.
Israeli analysis of vaccine distribution shows the vaccine being over 97% effective in preventing symptomatic cases and death, higher than the 90% efficiency that was reported in the vaccine’s Phase III trials, Pfizer said in a press release Thursday. Over 80% of the tested specimens were against the UK variant known as B.1.1.7.
The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel voted Friday evening to recommend Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency approval, clearing the way for its authorization, distribution and administration nationwide.
The vote followed hours of the panel live-streaming its process of scouring over data from the pharmaceutical company in order to reaffirm that the vaccine was safe for the millions of Americans who will receive it. The FDA also released the vaccine’s clinical trial data on Wednesday showing that the vaccine was effective in fighting the virus itself.
Recent studies indicate that the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines may have reduced protection against the South African coronavirus strain, according to reports in the New England Journal of Medicine, raising concerns that they could be less effective against future mutations.
Though both vaccines appeared to generate enough antibodies to neutralize the mutant strain, they both produced fewer antibodies when compared to the original virus. But experts warned that it was unclear just how much protection was needed to neutralize the variant, which scientists believe is more contagious than the original strain.