Health experts say it’s a race against time with vaccines and variants

Tracking COVID variants in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Right now, it’s a race against time to try and get as many people vaccinated before coronavirus variants take more of a stronghold in Alabama.

UAB is testing for the variants. They don’t test every COVID-19 positive sample because that takes a lot of time and money. But Dr. Sarah Nafziger, the vice president of clinical support services at UAB, says they have certain criteria for which samples are tested based on the patient’s clinical condition. The university also randomly tests COVID positive samples for variants.

“I know they are here and that’s the big message and take home for everyone, is we’ve got to get everyone vaccinated. This is literally a race between the virus and the variants,” Nafziger said.

We’re told the state is working on a network of other labs to test for variants because UAB is really the only one capable of doing it.

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