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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s COVID-19 cases involving variants are increasing, scientists with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Thursday.

The variants are concerning because there’s evidence they could be more transmissible and cause a more severe disease. There’s also evidence the current COVID-19 vaccines may not protect against them as well as they do the original virus.

Currently, CDPHE has discovered at least 225 cases of the Southern California variant, 336 cases of the United Kingdom variant and 11 of the South Africa variant. The state has not confirmed any cases of the Brazil variant.

“While there is some evidence that vaccines may be less effective against variants of concern, we know that the currently authorized vaccines available will still produce an effective immune response against these variants currently circulating in Colorado,” Dr. Emily Travanty, CDPHE laboratory director, said Thursday.

To discover many of the variants, scientists must complete a whole genome sequencing of a positive COVID-19 test. The state can now do this on about 550 test results every week and is continually increasing that number.