“The Biden administration is now running a race of vaccination versus variants—it must continue to suppress transmission, and vaccinate people, before more transmissible variants of the virus emerge. The winner of this race will depend on three unknowns: mitigation, evolution, and vaccine distribution.” The Atlantic’s Robinson Meyer: America Is Now in a Race of Vaccination vs. the Variants.

+ “Even though the vaccine generated disease-fighting antibodies that worked against the South African variant, that efficacy was diminished. Moderna said there was a reduction in response, prompting the company to design a new potential vaccine that could be added to the current two-dose regimen.” The South African variant looks like it’s the most different and dangerous. WaPo: Moderna vaccine protects against British and South African variants, company says.

+ “In just a month, Israel has vaccinated over a quarter of its 9.2 million people. At the same time, the virus continues to race through the country, with authorities confirming an average of over 8,000 new cases a day.” Israel is way ahead of the US in terms of the percentage of the population vaccinated. And they just issued new rules that essentially shut the country off from international flights.