Will boosters be effective against the new Omicron variant?

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There still remains so much to learn about the recently discovered Omicron COVID-19 variant that officials are trying to gather as much information as possible.

We spoke with St. Lukes Dr. Andrew Thompson who agrees saying, “There’s a lot of attention to this new variant but we still don’t know a lot about it."

A new mutation in the COVID-19 virus that has since dominated the conversation when it comes to coronavirus. "It’s a different virus from what we’ve been seeing so far, that’s why it’s a new variant. And it’s significantly different from others so that’s why there’s so much concern”, says Thompson

The Omicron strain now has many wondering if the vaccine will be effective enough to fight the virus. Healthcare workers are still suggesting the vaccination would help even if Omicron continues to spread.

Dr. Thompson says, "Even if we were just dealing with delta, which is what we are all dealing with in the United States right now, a booster is a really important tool to help reduce your chance of getting sick and reduce the chance that we keep spreading this in our community."

The booster shot will also help reduce hospitalizations, a key factor in the current crisis that a new variant could add on to. Thompson says, “We know that our current vaccines work very well to prevent hospitalization. And we are in a crisis right now in Minnesota with a number of severely ill COVID patients in the hospital.”

And even though we are exhausted from COVID, the Doctor says we must continue to keep safety protocols especially around the holidays.

He says, “But now is a critical time and the COVID virus doesn’t care if we are tired or not. It will take the opportunity with big gatherings, with indoor gatherings, with whatever types of situations that occur around the holidays to transmit new infections."