The Omicron Variant

COVID Variants, especially omicron, are at the front of everyone’s mind right now.

It is still unclear what the relationship between previous infection and severe COVID is, but the news right now is full of information about omicron and we continue to learn the science behind it day by day and hour by hour. This is an ongoing and changing situation. The cases of omicron are skyrocketing. The care records in Europe are the highest they’ve ever been with omicron. Within the U.S. we are expecting rapidly increasing growth in omicron likely to peak sometime in the first half of January. Omicron is more transmissible than even delta. We are very much hoping that vaccination, and t-cell immunity, helps keep folks out of the hospital.

Two sub-populations that should absolutely consider doing something at this point:

  • Older adults who have received two vaccines. We encourage those folks to go get boosted. It is absolutely important for those folks with the waning immunity conferred but those two vaccines to go get another vaccine to improve their immunity.
  • Young children aged 0-4. It’s not entirely clear, and the science still continues to evolve, of why there are more hospitalizations in that group than previous strains of COVID-19.

But really the key is COVID-safe practices, exercising good judgement and making good decisions about social distancing, hand hygiene, masking, and making good decisions during the holiday season. We are looking at a time when case counts are likely to get very high. We are hoping that the work we’ve done so far can minimize the impact to the healthcare infrastructure.

Now is the time to get vaccinated, get boosted, and try to make the best decisions about how COVID-safe practices can ensure that not only can we stay safe for the holidays, but that the holidays can be joyous for your friends and family. 

For current information about omicron from the CDC here.

The most common symptoms of the omicron variant reported among the fully vaccinated are reported to be:

Cough (83%)

Runny/stuffy nose (78%)

Fatigue/lethargy (74%)

Sore throat (72%)

Headache (68%)

Muscle pain (58%)

Fever (54%)

Sneezing (43%)

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