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Deadlier COVID variant found in Stanislaus County

A version of COVID-19 known as the UK variant that is considered more transmissible and deadlier has been detected in Stanislaus County, the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency reported.

The B.1.1.7 variant, more commonly known as the UK variant because it was first identified in the UK, has now been detected in 70 countries.

This variant is more infectious and possibly causes more severe illness and death. This is also the variant that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has predicted would become the predominant strain in the US by the end of March.

Modesto Centre Plaza

1st dose only, no appointment needed

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 20, 23

2nd dose only, no appointment needed

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 25


Keyes Community Center

1st dose only, no appointment needed

3 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 22


Stanislaus State

1st and 2nd doses, no appointment needed

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 24, 27

“The detection of the B.1.1.7 variant in Stanislaus County is a sobering reminder that this pandemic is not over,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Stanislaus County Public Health Officer. “The best way to prevent this variant from spreading, and prevent more variants from developing, is to stop the virus from circulating in the community. It is vital that everyone, even people that have been vaccinated, continue to follow recommendations that prevent the spread of disease, which include testing, masking, distancing, and getting the vaccine when it is your turn.”

Studies suggest that all three vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — are effective and provide strong protection against the B.1.1.7 variant.

As of Friday, 51,938 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Stanislaus County and there have been 979 deaths.

SCHSA has opened up vaccine eligibility to more individuals. Those who are able to get the vaccine in Stanislaus County include: Healthcare workers; long-term care workers; people aged 65 and over; people with medical conditions and disabilities; and workers in education, childcare, food, agriculture, emergency services, public transit, and janitorial and custodial services.

People can visit to view the options to get vaccinated, or call (209)558‐7535 for more information.