GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — With the COVID-19 omicron variant now making itself known in the US, doctors across the county are warning people of how serious variants really can be.
One of the resounding solutions that many infectious disease experts will say is vaccines, vaccines, vaccines. The omicron variant seems to be one of the newest of the COVID-19 virus that can pose an actual threat to people similar to what we have seen with the delta variant.
Dr. Paul Cook is a professor of medicine and the Chief of Infectious Disease at the Brody School of Medicine. He said, of course, there are still unknowns when it comes to the variants and vaccine effectiveness, but that this protection method seems to be the most successful.
“We don’t know for sure that the vaccine booster will help but it’s one of those things that it probably will help and there’s no downside to it. We’ve got enough vaccines; it seems like this is a good idea to do while we get some more information about the variant,” said Cook.
Cook said things like masking and social distancing truly are easy ways to keep yourself protected.
“There are so many mutations in the so-called spike protein that the antibody response may not be as great but if the cellular immune response is adequate then people might get infected but might not get so sick that they have to go to the hospital,” Cook said.
He also says he personally disagreed with the CDC when they made the decision to tell vaccinated individuals they could lead lifestyles without their masks. Noting that they ultimately came around when they redacted that statement, explaining that with new variants on the rise, methods like masking should still be implemented for all for the time being.
Cook mentions that although there still is not too much information on vaccine effectiveness with something like the Omicron variant, they do know that no harm is coming from it, so it seems to be the best defense right now.