The Omicron Variant
When the world shut down in March of 2020, many thought that the virus would pass in a couple of weeks and then life would return to normal. But, unfortunately, that seems just as far off as when COVID first hit nearly two years later. Recently, scientists have seen an emergence of the Omicron variant that everyone needs to be aware of.
Omicron first made its appearance in South Africa in late November 2021, right around the start of the holiday season. It is currently thought that the Omicron variant spreads quicker than the original virus. However, higher rates could be explained by the increase of travel that happens every year around the holidays. Since this variant can appear as a common cold in fully vaccinated individuals, scientists are assuming that the infection is less severe than previous variants.
Scientists have found that there is an increased risk of reinfection. While it was thought that the antibodies from the original COVID virus would protect someone for roughly six months, people can recontract Omicron much faster. Current vaccines are effective in protecting against severe cases of the Omicron variant. This means that while vaccinated people can contract the virus, there will be far fewer hospitalizations because of it. This newer variant further emphasizes how important it is for everyone to receive their vaccine and booster shots. Not only are the unvaccinated at a higher risk, but the longer it takes to reach herd immunity, the more time the virus has to mutate into new variants.
To learn more about what measures you can take to protect yourself from the Omicron Variant, contact Neighbors Pharmacy today.