HARTFORD, Conn. — The Biden administration today announced $1.7 billion to help states combat COVID-19 variants as they continue to spread in the country.
Connecticut is set to receive about $2.8 million in May.
The administration said the original strain of COVID-19 comprises only about half of all cases in America today while new strains of the virus make up the other half.
White House officials unveiled a strategy that features three components: a major funding boost for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments to ramp up gene-mapping of coronavirus samples; the creation of six “centers of excellence” partnerships with universities to conduct research and develop technologies for gene-based surveillance of pathogens; and building a data system to better share and analyze information on emerging disease threats, so the knowledge can be turned into action.
The Biden administration's move comes as a variant known as B117, which first emerged in the United Kingdom, has become the predominant strain in the U.S.
In hard-hit Michigan, the more transmissible mutation accounts for more than half the cases, according to CDC data. Vaccines are effective against the so-called U.K. variant, but other mutations circulating around the globe have shown resistance to currently available vaccines.
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