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B.1.1.7 Now Common in US

The B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 is now the most common variant in the US, CNN reports.

"Based on our most recent estimates from CDC surveillance, the B.1.1.7 variant is now the most common lineage circulating in the United States," Rochelle Walensky, the head of the CDC, said during the White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing, according to CNN.

The B.1.1.7 variant was first uncovered in the UK, with officials there announcing its discovery in December. Subsequent analyses have indicated that it may be more transmissible and more deadlyEarlier this week, CNN reported that B.1.1.7 variant, which has spread across the world, has also been reported in each of the 50 US states.

According to Reuters, even as the US ramps up its vaccination efforts — it is now administering an average 3 million doses a day — there has been an uptick in new COVID-19 cases with an average of about 63,000 new cases reported a day.

It adds that cases of the B.1.351 variant, originally identified in South Africa and against which some vaccines are thought to be less effective, have been found in 36 US jurisdictions.

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