As if things haven't gotten worse already, some scientists are predicting a COVID-19 variant that is more infectious and possibly deadly than the Delta variant, could come to the United States soon.

Experts already are concerned about the severity of the Delta variant. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, recently told Newsweek that the next variant could be even worse,

The next variant could be Delta on steroids.

Other authorities on contagious diseases agree that the worst may be yet to come. Dr. Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist who was on a World Health Organization team that fought smallpox told CNBC,

I think we’re closer to the beginning than we are to the end [of the pandemic], and that’s not because the variant that we’re looking at right now is going to last that long. Unless we vaccinate everyone in 200 plus countries, there will still be new variants.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, variants are a "normal" part of viruses,

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants persist. Numerous variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are being tracked in the United States and globally during this pandemic.

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COVID-19 Deaths Have Doubled in New York

Meanwhile, things are already getting much worse here in New York. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 have doubled in New York State. According to the most recent COVID-19 data released by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo's office on Sunday, August 8, 2021, deaths caused by the virus have increased from five to 11 over the course of seven days. On Saturday, August 7, there were 11 deaths reported.

New Yorkers can access the vaccine by calling 1-833-NYS-4-VAX or visiting the http://vaccines.gov/ website.

If you are interested in getting vaccinated, the Erie County Department of Health has several pop-up vaccination events coming up:

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 to Sunday, August 22, 2021
Erie County Fair (5600 McKinley Pkwy, Hamburg, NY 14075) from 11 am to 10 pm daily. The clinic will be located across from the Market Place. You will need to pay for admission to the fair, but you'll get a $5 food voucher for getting vaccinated.

Saturday, August 14, 2021
Northtown Community Center (1615 Amherst Manor Dr, Williamsville, NY 14221) from 8 am to 12 pm. At this pop-up event, only the Pfizer vaccine will be administered.

Saturday, August 21, 2021
New Hope Baptist Church (2090 Genesee St, Buffalo, NY 14211) from 12 pm to 7 pm.

Sunday, August 29, 2021
Canalside (44 Prime St, Buffalo, NY 14202) from 11 am to 3 pm.

You can also get a vaccine at home by calling (716)858-2929 or visiting http://erie.gov/vax, which is also where you can register for any of the pop-up events above.

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