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Oregon reports first West Coast case of COVID-19 variant discovered in Brazil

Another COVID-19 variant has arrived in Oregon. Douglas County is reporting a case of the variant first detected in Brazil, known as P.1.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon officials expect more details this week as to how many vaccine doses they can anticipate receiving and when. The state was already on track to get 34,000 doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but those expectations were in flux Tuesday afternoon after President Biden announced the U.S. should have produced enough doses for every adult by the end of May.

That’s two months earlier than previously thought.

“Any additional vaccine is great news,” Multnomah County health officer Dr. Jennifer Vines said in an interview Tuesday.

In the meantime, Dr. Vines said Oregonians should remain vigilant about following COVID-19 safety protocols like wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

Nationally, after months of decline, new cases and hospitalizations went up by about 2% last week. The director of the CDC warned Monday that America could be in for a fourth wave.

Officials in Oregon have another reason to worry.

“Locally, we know that the variants are here," Dr. Vines said. "We don't have great visibility on them yet.” 

The state announced Tuesday that another COVID-19 variant has arrived in Oregon. Douglas County is reporting a case of the variant first detected in Brazil, known as P.1.

RELATED: COVID-19 variant first discovered in Brazil detected in Oregon

It's the first case reported on the West Coast. Researchers say, like other variants, it's more contagious. It may also be more deadly, and according to the New York Times, scientists have tracked cases of this variant infecting people who already had COVID and recovered.

That said, it does seem like current vaccines are effective in keeping that variant from making you really sick or worse. So, officials said, it's all the more reason to keep vigilant until you get vaccinated.

“There's a sense of, if we let down our guard too much or too soon, we risk another spike in the virus,” Dr. Vines said. “And that's a double-lose situation because, not only are people sick and hospitals potentially overloaded, that also is going to divert a lot of staff and attention from vaccinating.”

RELATED: Enough COVID vaccine for every US adult by end of May, Biden says

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