How concerned should we be about the new coronavirus variants? This is what a doctor has to say

News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen was joined by Dr. Gregory Poland this morning to discuss vaccines, the coronavirus variants and keeping our families safe. Dr. Gregory Poland is the director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.
Over the past few months, new variants of the virus have started to emerge from the U.K., South Africa and Brazil.
Now, scientists are finding that the virus has changed in ways that may affect its ability to spread, potentially resulting in more cases of COVID-19.
We know New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have the U.K. variant. Research indicates that that variant could be more contagious than other strains in the U.S., seems to replicate more efficiently. The South African variant emerged independently from the U.K. strain, but shares some of its mutations, according to the CDC. This variant could also make reinfection more likely.