In November, health officials in the United Kingdom identified a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19, and it quickly became known as the "UK variant." And it has quickly become a problem for Americans. According to Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the "UK variant" is likely to become the dominant variant in the United States by early April. "A paper published in the British Medical Journal just this past week proves this variant is associated with about a 64-percent higher risk of dying," Nielsen said in her weekly conversation with WBFO. Its spread in this country, Nielsen asserts, underscores the need to get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible.