What We Currently Know about the New COVID-19 Variant


The new variant of COVID called "Omicron" was found in South Africa.

COVID-19 virusCDC/Unsplash

Late last week, scientists have discovered a new variant of COVID-19 in South Africa. The new COVID variant name is Omicron.

According to Dr. Fauci, the new variant has been found in over 20 countries.

Why is the new variant so concerning

Many early observations show that the new variant of COVID-19 can evade vaccines and immunity from COVID-19 better, along with being more contagious.

Meanwhile, many vaccine manufacturers like Pfizer and Moderna are prepared to adjust their vaccine recipes to better combat the new variant, if needed.

The new variant of COVID-19 could be potentially transmitted between fully-vaccinated people, not just unvaccinated people, but it is still unknown.

The risk of hospitalization and death from the new variant of COVID-19 is still unknown. But, older people and people with chronic health conditions are more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 or die from COVID-19.

Many Americans will not know the effects of the new variant until at least two weeks.

What you can do to help ease the COVID-19 pandemic

The steps to help reduce the number of COVID cases are straightforward. Get vaccinated! Getting vaccinated today is better than never!

Being unvaccinated will only prolong the COVID-19 pandemic and a greater chance that new variants will appear, which means more opportunities for the virus to evade vaccines and become more contagious.

If it has been at least six months since your last COVID vaccine shot, get a booster shot, so it is harder for you to get COVID-19. Immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine can diminish over time. That's why there are some breakthrough cases of COVID-19.

No COVID vaccine is 100% effective at preventing COVID-19, but the chances of getting hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 are significantly reduced compared to not getting vaccinated at all.

Under the CDC recommendations, wear a mask when out in public, even if you're fully vaccinated. Try to maintain six feet between other people when you're not vaccinated.

12/01/2021 Update: The first case of the new variant in the U.S has been reported in California.

Stay safe and healthy!

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Student at Kansas State University majoring in Finance. I cover stories that are related to lifestyle, education, local news in the Salina, KS area, and more.

Salina, KS

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