New COVID-19 strain likely in the United States already, officials urging Americans to get vaccinated

The CDC is reporting the number of deaths caused by Covid-19 has been rising since October.

That’s as a new strain of the virus is hitting the U.K., health officials in the U.S. are saying the new strain is even more contagious and likely already in the United States.

On Tuesday, more notable faces received a Covid-19 vaccine including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Dr. Anthony Fauci,  along with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar.

"I feel extreme confidence in the safety and efficacy of this vaccine, and I want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated," said Dr. Fauci before receiving his vaccination Tuesday.


News of the new strain comes as more Americans are saying they will get vaccinated once available to them.

According to the PEW Research Center, overall 60% of Americans say they would definitely or probably get vaccinated.

Models have also projected that Houston could once again become the nation’s hot spot.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner reported the positivity rate for the city is now at 11.2%, up from 10.5% last week.

"It appears, the new mutant virus doesn’t appear to be any more lethal," said Dr. Persse with the Houston Health Department.

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And as a new strain of the virus is working its way through the UK, Persse is encouraging more so than ever that Houstonians get vaccinated.

"The change is the virus appears to be more easily transported," said Persse. "It appears that the vaccines will still work with this new mutation."

Fauci says the new strain may have already reached the U.S. The U.S. is still working its way through the distribution protocol of its phase 1-A plan.


CVS Pharmacy tells FOX 26 they have partnered up with 2,000 long-term care facilities in Texas and are set to immunize 275,000 residents and staff starting on December 28.

"We will initially go to these sites three times," said John Fratamico, District Leader at CVS Health. "The first time is to give the initial shot, three weeks later to get the booster shot."

CVS will also be helping to administer the vaccines to the general public once available.

Abbott says the widespread distribution of the vaccine could happen before March.