It's a remarkable progress in such a short time, but because the pandemic was at its peak, we'd never seen it spreading as quickly as it did in the past few months.
VACCINE TRACKER: Here's how CA is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine
At this point in the COVID-19 race, the two contenders are the variants and the vaccines. But as the virus evolves, will one outpace the other, defeating its effectiveness?
ABC7 is on vaccine watch as a part of Building a Better Bay Area where we provide you with the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic.
RELATED: Bay Area COVID-19 tracker
We spoke to ABC7 News special correspondent Dr. Alok Patel to weigh in on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine on the variant detected in South Africa, and whether the new variant would affect the vaccine rollout in the Bay Area.
AstraZeneca paused its vaccine rollout in South Africa because a study showed it wasn't as effective against a variant. Is that something that might happen here?
"It's possible that the variant, the South African variant, that's the B1.35, I believe that's the lineage, could become more widespread in the United States and be less effective. A vaccine would be less effective against it. As of right now I believe there are about six cases in the U.S. That could absolutely spread. Now the early data from South Africa - as you mentioned - that's about 2,000 people. They found the AstraZenica vaccine wasn't really preventing against that South African variant. The other vaccines were preventing against it but to a lesser degree. They were preventing the severe cases in hospitalizations. But, again If we let that variant spread it could push a little bit backwards as we try to race to get people vaccinated."
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- How to register for COVID-19 vaccine in every Bay Area county
- Map: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
- CALCULATOR: Find out how many people may get a COVID-19 vaccine before you
- VIDEO: When will I get the COVID-19 vaccine? We explain who goes 1st
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- Map shows everywhere you can get a COVID-19 test in the Bay Area
- How are Chinatown businesses surviving? Here's what we found
- From COVID-19 to Black Lives Matter, these 13 people defined the Bay Area in 2020
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during pandemic
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here's which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic