As COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out in the US, a mutated virus emerges in the UK

The new variant isn’t the first to surface but may spread faster and more easily than others. As Moderna joins Pfizer in distributing vaccines, some politicians have been the first to get one.
10:24 | 12/22/20

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Transcript for As COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out in the US, a mutated virus emerges in the UK
Shock waves rippling around the world after an alarming new development. The covid-19 virus has mutated again. The news triggering a rush of people trying get out of the United Kingdom as a growing list of coueses are banning travelers from Britain. Scientists believe the new variant of the coronavirus spreads easier and faster than the original versions. Early estimates show about 70% more infectious. Can you walk me through what we know and don't know at this point? I don't think there's any reason to panic. There's reason to be concerned and it's why scientists have to be hyper focused on getting more data. Most importantly we need to understand that the vaccine that we have is likely going to be totally effective and so, it really doesn't change the course of what we are doing today. Reporter: Is that new mutation appearing to be more deadly at this point? From the data that we have seen, it'sity not looking to be more lethal It's the grinch that stole Christmas, the streets are quiet with the exception of ambulances and police cars moving around the city. All but essential stores are closed again. People were up lifted by the fact that the vaccine was being rolled out. Over half a million now have received it and now, a sense of trepidation of what the next few weeks will bring. And the concerns are growing here in the states as airports are hitting significant markers. We saw after Thanksgiving the serge of covid cases and deaths do you think we will see the same? We called it a surge on a surge, and we are still in the Thanksgiving surge, it's a surge on a surge on a surge, our health systems cannot handle it. With planes from the uk coming in to the U.S. Without government restriction, some are arguing that the new mutation can make it worse. I believe it's already had here. The airlines have agreed to test all passengers heading to the United States. This is a major problem. And for us to once again be incompetent as a federal government and take no action. We learned this lesson the hard way. And we are not gng to go through it again. So far the trump administration has not increased the travel advisory for the U today prident elect Biden rolled up his sleeve to get the pfizer vaccine. I'm doing so people know they should be prepared to take the vaccine when it's available. There's nothing to worry about. So far, more than half a million doses have been administered and just this week, a second vaccine bymoderna became available. The CDC releasing updated guidelines today, recommending front line workers and elderly Americans are given priority, yet the temptation to jump the line is stronger than ever. The L.A. Times reporting that the short supply could create a thriving black market. Citing that doctors in los Angeles are being offered up to $25,000s in exchange for early access to the vaccine. Doctors reassuring they will follow the CDC suggested roll-out. And who has been receiving the shot first has raised eyebrows. Vice president Mike pence among a handful of politicians that received the vaccine in first week it was available. But with the shot came a dose of criticism. Especially when white house staffers were originally intended to also get the vaccine. A plan that later came to a halt. Our front line workers who have made the sacrifice to continue to make our country run should be the priority. People who have been should be the priority. Also among the first to get vaccinated top leaders. Including Mitch Mcconnell and house speaker Nancy Pelosi and eventually more members rolying up their sleeves after the capitol physician informed haul members of congress that they were eligible for the shots. Both senators, Rubio and graham facing backlash for receiving the shots first after months of down playing the virus. What the vaccine has is mrna -- Representative Cortez drawing criticism. Senator Rand Paul who had the virus earlier this year tweeting he will wait get the vaccine. Calling out representative Cortez and younger members for doing so writing, they should be among the last. Not the first. The bronx represe responding saying, leaders should show we will not ask others to do something we will not do ourselves. I think it's a very careful balance. Waiting a period of time before having the public displays is probably important to make sure that enough of the sort of front line workers and vulnerable populations are getting it. But I think overall, it's good to see sort of, that, you know, that accept is -- that acceptance of the vaccine that will hly spread to the public. Modern's vaccine was shipped off coast-to-coast. This has been the most important load that I have hauled. This is a box of ten vials. The first moderna doses arriving this morning so that front line workers can be vaccinated. I'm confident and positive that this vaccine is going to work. Do you think we have cause to be optimistic and hopeful? I overall think that we have a cause to be incredibly hopeful. I think the news on the vaccine, which I think is our crowning scientific achievement of our lifetimes is something that we should feel so good about. But, you know, we have conditioners for these next two we don't want to reach 400,000 deaths but we are on that road. You know, maybe half a million, if we don't do the tough things immediately., there's definitely hope but, you know, it's layered with some real anxiety over the short-term. Between modern and pfizer, experts hope 20 million vaccine doses can be distributed by the first week of January and people are lining up to receive them. Good morning. It is 10 after 6:00, just got in the car, I'm heading over T my hospital where I have an 8:00 appointment to get my covid vaccine. This morning, my colleague, Dr. Jenn Ashton, a practicing gynecologist waited to receive her vaccine. Hi! An essential front line worker, Dr. Ashton still performs surgeries at her I literally felt like I won the lottery. I'll be home for Christmas Heroyful mood infectious, some even breaking out in to holiday cheer who were waiting. I am right handed I will do left arm. The relief of finally getting vaccinated indescribable. I feel incredibly fortunate. I didn't realize until that needle was in my arm how much fear and concern I have had suppressed all year as I continued to take care of patients. It was incredible. Thank you, my dear. You are welcome. And now we are incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Jenn Ashton with us now. I know you had a history of severe allergic reactions, how are you feeling hours after taking the vaccine? Any side affects? Physically I feel fine. I do have a history of severe allergic reaction to food, I had my epi pen ready and I was in a safe environment and monitored for 30 minutes. My risk of allergic reaction is lower than covid so it was a easy decision. There's controversy aren't politicians getting vaccines. Walk us through the guidelines on who gets the vaccines first. What the CDC said, that 1-a, should go to the long-term care facilities. Nursing homes and front line health care workers. Then, the CDC just out with recommendations about who goes second, group 1-b, they are suggesting essential is workers and adults 75 years of age and older and essential workers are a big group. People who work in food, agricu, transportation, first responders, prisons. There have been some small subset of politicians, government officials for whom national security deems them an essential worker. And briefly can you give us the context of the alarming headlines coming out of the uk about the new mutation of covid? The deep dive on that, juju, is that viruses mutate for a we should not be surprised to hear there's new strains or variants of covid. I just spoke to Dr. Anthony Fauci about it, and he said we have to be careful when we throw around a term like 70% more transmissable and it's not made covid more lethal and there's no evidence that the vaccine will not be effective. We have been learning about the strains and mutations a we have to make sure that the vaccines stay well matched. Right now, it looks like they will. But it's definitely possible that we could see a situation down the road where we might need different vaccines just like we the do for the influenza Your insights are essential, we are glad you are feeling well, thank you the for joining us. Thanks, juju. And coming up the stunning

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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