2020 was rough and many of us are calling it the year of COVID-19. Everyone got their  hopes up when the vaccine was announced and now that the roll out plan is underway 2021 is looking good. Unfortunately we're forgetting one thing, the new variant that has been detected in the United Kingdom has already shown up in Oregon, Washington and other neighboring states. If it's next to us does that mean that it's here in Idaho?  The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is currently screening some COVID-19 test for it but have yet to find the new strain.

"Nonetheless, we think it's probably here, as it is in some nearby states," Niki Forbing-Orr said.

How is the new strain different and does the current vaccine fight it off?

Doctor David Pate, former CEO for St. Luke's and current member of the Idaho Coronavirus Taskforce, told ktvb:

"It looks like in many respects that it is opposite to what we have been dealing with... The thing that we are concerned about is that it appears to be more contagious, it is going to facilitate transmission."

The current Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be able effective in fighting off the new variant. The big difference with this strain is that those under 20 are now more susceptible. Pate expressed more concern for elders than the children:

"Kids are going to play more of a role in spreading this to families because they are getting it more and it's more contagious, so again not so worried about that 8-year-old, but worried about that 8-year-old's grandma or grandpa,".

I know you've heard it a million times but whether it's the new or old strain, mask up Idaho.

LOOK: Just some of the photos that capture the historic year that was 2020

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