Let’s Talk About It: The Omicron variant

Mon, 12/13/2021 - 7:30am

With the emergence of the Omicron variant, it is evident that our community will continue to deal with Coronavirus for 2022. Medical researchers have identified that the variant has increasing transmissibility, but decreased lethality. I often get asked questions of the best timing for a booster. Should we wait for a vaccine modification for Delta or Omicron?
Research is clear that the booster will increase circulating antibodies and provide both direct and indirect benefits towards Coronavirus and its variants. There are current investigations into how Omicron will be impacted by the current U.S.- approved vaccines.
Please do not wait for a vaccine modification before considering a booster.
Rhode Island’s new case data is at 583 per 100,000 as of December 8. This is the highest that we have experienced since March 2020. Our Block Island community continues to have low infection rates, but we have experienced eight new infections over the last 10 weeks, including one case this week. Coronavirus is in our community, so please keep yourself and others safe.

Breakthrough cases in RI remain favorable at 2 percent. The benefit of vaccination is that the vaccinated person is significantly less likely to develop severe illness that may lead to hospitalization.
People that asymptomatically test positive and are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine, but should be wearing a mask outside of your immediate family. We know that Covid spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.

If a fully vaccinated person or unvaccinated person develops symptoms and tests positive, please isolate at home and contact your healthcare provider.

A key takeaway is to get vaccinated and consider a booster! All adults have the choice of getting vaccinated, but remember that you do not get to choose how severely others react after contracting the virus.
The RI Department of Health has opened additional adult and child vaccine slots for December 29th on island. Please sign up at www.vaccinateRI.org if interested.