Dear Reader,

Yesterday, the state announced that the P.1 variant, which originated in Brazil, has been detected in Vermont and is spreading in Massachusetts. Like two other variants detected in Vermont recently, scientists believe P.1 may be up to twice as transmissible as previous strains of the virus.

While P.1 contains a mutation that may limit immunity, scientists still believe vaccines are effective against the new strain. Early lab results suggested last month that Pfizer’s vaccine protects against each of the variants, but may be less effective against earlier strains of Covid.

As the state races to vaccinate Vermonters before the variants take hold, one question we keep hearing from our readers is whether it is possible and/or advisable to choose which vaccine you receive.

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