Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, reviews the new COVID-19 variant Omicron with the Nevada Independent
Read the full Nevada Independent article here
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has arrived and is surging across the U.S., dominating over other variants and bringing with it new concerns about its potential impact and more questions about whether vaccinations are truly working.
To understand Omicron, you have to understand the nature of viruses. Viruses naturally mutate and continue to be present so that they can infect. This happens to a greater degree when there are not high rates of vaccinations and so now, unfortunately, we have yet another variant.
Omicron looks to be highly transmissible and for those who are unvaccinated, it can present a high risk of falling ill, along with possible hospitalization and potential death. For those who have received the vaccine and still contracted the virus –– known as a breakthrough infection –– the symptoms have generally been mild to moderate.
At the beginning of the vaccine rollout, it was said by some and then widely socialized that vaccines were 100 percent effective in preventing the virus. No vaccine is 100 percent, though, and unfortunately some people who were vaccinated still contracted the virus and passed away. Unvaccinated people who are still skeptical, along with vaccinated individuals who have had breakthrough infections, may think the vaccine failed.
It didn’t. It actually did what it was supposed to do, which was provide a level of protection in the hope that fewer people would fall severely ill, be hospitalized or have a bad outcome. In the midst of breakthrough infections and a new variant, vaccines are still a valid way to better your odds on having a severe illness — and the best chance we have to fight COVID-19. To put it in perspective, if we were to go back in time to the beginning of the pandemic, we would be in a much graver situation now if we didn’t have the vaccines at all…
Dr. BCW continues on The Nevada Independent.