The battle of omicron and the vaccine
by Hayden Peterson: Staff Writer
With recent news talking up the newest covid-19 variant, the Omicron strand begs the question “What will the vaccines do?” or “Is a booster vaccine necessary?”
Even though the common two dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are not as effective with the omicron variant as it was with the previous versions of covid, studies show that vaccines still prevent severe Covid cases and are effective enough to keep vaccinated people out of the hospital.
According to a study conducted by the MGH, “We detected very little neutralization of the Omicron variant pseudovirus when we used samples taken from people who were recently vaccinated with two doses of mRNA vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson”; however, “individuals who received three doses of mRNA vaccine had very significant neutralization against the Omicron variant.” According to a study by Denmark, “The omicron is 2.7 to 3.7 times more infectious than the delta variant among vaccinated and boosted individuals."
The two dose vaccine may be less effective with the new variant, but experts still believe that the vaccine is essential in limiting the spread of Covid.
According to the CDC the unvaccinated are eight times more likely to contract Covid and the risk of hospitalization and death is twenty-five higher. Luckily, the omicron variant is much less severe than the delta variant.
According to national geographic, “Instead of pneumonia-like symptoms, it's more like a head cold."
With the omicron being so much more infectious, some schools have opted to close for in-person learning for a couple of weeks and return to an online schedule. This school and others around it face lockdown, and if we don't actively take steps to prevent the spread of covid, we could be stuck with restrictions and online school for a long time.