A more contagious genetic variant of the coronavirus that originated in South Africa has been found in Maryland, the state’s governor Larry Hogan said in a statement on Saturday. “We strongly encourage Marylanders to practice extra caution to limit the additional risk of transmission associated with this variant,” Hogan said. Maryland is the second state after South Carolina to record cases of the mutation, which poses a heightened risk of transmission in addition to the ordinary danger of COVID-19. Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, who unveiled new vaccines this week, said that their vaccines were less effective against the South African strain.
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