lthough the information is limited as to what we know about the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, we do know some key information that could be helpful. Public health professionals have been informed that the Omicron variant is spread easily—and may spread faster than the Delta variant. We also know that the variant is a concern for everyone, but those who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 are at higher risk.

Data produced from Africa indicate that those vaccinated with a booster dose have stronger protection against the new variants compared to those that received their initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine months ago. With this information, public health officials are educating community members on the importance of getting a booster dose of the vaccine when eligible.

As Omicron spreads here in the United States, local health organizations are concerned with an increase in mortality rates amongst those unvaccinated as well as the level of illness and hospitalizations that will be experienced within the next few months — especially given an already fatigued medical infrastructure. As it relates to Grayson County, we still have nearly 50% of the population that have not received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This will allow variants of the virus to spread quickly here at home as well as contribute to further mutations of the virus in the future.

For information about booster dose eligibility, or general information regarding vaccination or COVID-19, visit graysonhealth

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