New COVID Variant, Omicron

Christopher Sedaca, Editor-In-Chief

In recent weeks, a new variant of COVID was found in Southern Africa. The new variant was named Omicron in following days and studies have been conducted on the new leading virus.

A recent study conducted by the University Of Hong Kong on the Omicron variant shows its transmission is over 70% more effective than the original COVID virus, and the Delta variant. The high transmission rate however is sidestepped by the lower dangerous effects. In the Omicron variant, it has a 10 times slower rate of growing in lung tissue, meaning a lower fatality rate and sickness.

The new Omicron variant also spooked the world as it has been shown to evade current vaccination shots, now needing a 3rd shot, or booster shot to have 75% effectiveness against the virus. “The unvaccinated are eight times more likely to end up in the hospital and 14 times more likely to die compared with people who are fully vaccinated,” said White House Covid Response Coordinator Jeff Zients when speaking with CNBC.

As of now, doctors recommend getting a 3rd booster shot of the COVID vaccine immediately, to prevent further death and illness. The U.S. has imposed new travel restrictions into and out of the United States in response to the new Omicron variant.

As of December 15th, 2021, 3% of new cases in the US are omicron, according to the CDC. This being only a month since the first confirmed Omicron case was detected in the United States on November 15th, 2021.