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    New SARS-COV-2 Variant Classification System…

    by Chris Bailey  Camarillo, CA

    California is open! Life is great! The 4th of July is just around the corner. It is now legal to enter most stores without a face mask, yet clerks still must be covered. But what about that SARS-COV-2 Delta variant?

    Top symptoms reported on the CDC website for the SARS-COV-2 Delta variant are headache, sore throat, runny nose, fever. Cough and loss of smell are no longer top symptoms. However, researchers are concerned people may mistake symptoms for a bad cold and avoid quarantine, helping the Delta variant to spread.

    You’ve likely heard all this on your local or national news as the reason you should get vaccinated regardless of the fact there are no restrictions if you are not vaccinated. Just do it. You can get the “V” on your social media profile, or your dating profile!

    As the terrors of an unknown virus fade in Ventura County, we can still order a 20CT(cycle threshold) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to ensure you do not have the virus. Maybe those cold symptoms are the virus and then you take the many measures available today that were not available last year.

    In the interest of public education, let’s go over the three classifications the CDC now uses to identify viruses they are tracking.

    Variant of Interest (VOI): Variant of known virus associated with binding changes, reduced antibodies generated against previous viral exposure or vaccination, fewer known treatments, potential diagnostic impact, or predicted increase in transmissibility or disease severity. So, in other words, this variant presents different in symptoms and response to treatment.

    Variant of Concern (VOC): Variant of known virus with consequence include an increase in

    transmissibility, or virulence, or a decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines, treatments, diagnostic assays or other public health measures. The Delta Variant falls in this category because the symptoms are very light, and it crossed a threshold of being reported ABOVE 10% of all known cases  currently identified through PCR testing.

    Variant of High Consequence (VOHC): Variant of a known virus with clear evidence that prevention measures or medical countermeasures (MCMs) have little effect relative to other known variants. The total list of viruses with known variants which have been classified in this category is zero.

    The reason is the VOI, VOC, VOHC is a classification system that was developed jointly by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) and implemented in March 2021. All older viruses (pre-SARS-COV-2) were not classified under this new variant classifying system. Variant definitions for your reading pleasure can be sourced here .

    Should you decide you may have symptoms of the SARS-COV-2 Delta Variant, it is still fairly easy to find a PCR test in Ventura County. Available locations are here Be advised these are not the only organizations offering a test for SARS-COV-2. Many healthcare providers are also providing testing for their policy holders, and I found a testing company online in Camarillo more convenient than the available testing at Constitution Park.


    COVID Clinic has a mobile van that sets up at a location for a week at a time with drive thru or walk up service. The test center is designated as a drive thru, but I walked up and had no problem getting a test. You must make an appointment at this mobile clinic. They can be found at or at (877)219-8378. You can also email them at [email protected]. This service is helpful if you have a flight to catch and need a PCR test and you can’t wait for the next time your testing clinic is open in your city.

    As more information is coming out about adverse effects from vaccination for SARS-COV-2, we should all exercise our right to be fully informed regarding the decision to vaccinate ourselves and our loved ones. Ask your doctor for Informed Consent on the vaccine before you are vaccinated. If none is available from your health professional, do your own research. The following are 3 adverse effects trackers for the COVID-19 vaccines.

    The Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VERS) reported information on post-vaccine adverse reactions.

    The European Union adverse drug reaction tracker.

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FDA launched the FAERS Public Dashboard for COVID-19 emergency use authorization (EUA) products. The COVID-19 EUA FAERS Public Dashboard provides weekly updates of adverse event reports submitted to FAERS for drugs and therapeutic biological products used under EUA in COVID-19. After launching the FAERS Public Dashboard, click on the COVID-19 EUA link on the home page to open the COVID-19 EUA FAERS Public Dashboard. 

    FAERS Public Dashboard

    While the FAERS dashboard offers stakeholders many more ways of searching for and organizing data on adverse events reported to the FDA for many drug and biologic products, there remain limitations to the data. For example, while FAERS contains reports on a particular drug or biologic, this does not mean that the drug or biologic caused the adverse event. Importantly, the FAERS data by themselves are not an indicator of the safety profile of the drug or biologic.”


    Chris Bailey is a reporter-at-large of, a business owner, military veteran and longtime resident of Camarillo

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