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Why do we keep having more COVID variants?

Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Shaquita Bell, MD explains how getting vaccinated against COVID is our best path to stopping future variants.

The reason why the variants exist is because we have not been vaccinated at the rates we need to be vaccinated in order to prevent this infection from spreading. The more the coronavirus reproduces, the more copies of itself it makes, the less perfect those copies are and it makes that virus more contagious. Then that will spread amongst the people that it can and become more common than the copies that don’t have that, that protein change. The only reason why it can do that is cause it still finds people to infect. If we are all vaccinated then it’s not going to be able to keep making copies of itself and finding ways to get more contagious and more severe.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions. Click here for vaccine FAQs from the CDC.

Stay up to date with your COVID vaccine, including boosters!

COVID vaccines are safe and effective for everyone ages 6 months and older.

Immunity wanes over time. Keep up your protection against COVID by getting boosted when eligible.

Updated (bivalent) boosters are now available for adults and children 6 months and older.