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Mayo Clinic uses sequence tracing to identify vaccine variants

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(WQOW) - Variants are on the rise in the United States, including here in Wisconsin, and Eau Claire County.

Now that they are circulating, Mayo Clinic is using sequencing technology to anticipate the challenge new variants of COVID-19 can bring.

Clinical microbiology expert Dr. Bobbi Pritt said they are tracking over 22,000 of individuals that have had a positive COVID-19 test result.

Clinical officials will be looking at sequences detailing what and where variants are circulating for clinical and public health purposes.

Dr. Bobbi Pritt said the identification of the new variants will drive decisions about which vaccines to give.

“Right now, it's primarily looking to patients that have been fully vaccinated, but may have a variant that is somewhat resistant, able to overcome to predict protection generated from a vaccine. And there may be an indication for a patient to get another vaccine if they are a vulnerable patient at high risk of getting severe COVID-19," Pritt said.

Pritt went on to say that she expects the coronavirus to remain prominent, but sees the virus evolving overtime.

Mayo's clinical team believes the coronavirus will become a seasonal respiratory virus in conjunction with the influenza.

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Alyssa Lyons

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