What Scientists Know So Far About the New Omicron Variant of Covid-19

Wall Street Journal

It hasn’t even been 2 years since we first heard about Covid-19, or the novel coronavirus, as we used to call it before it had a name of its own. Now, it sometimes feels like we’ve been in this pandemic forever. Is there an end in sight, or will new variants of the virus keep appearing faster than the vaccine can keep up?

According to scientists, the delta variant of Covid-19 was first discovered roughly a year ago in the fall of 2020, months into the pandemic but before vaccines were available. Now, roughly 60% of Americans are fully vaccinated, and the delta variant is the main variant circulating around the world. Things appear to be changing again.

Scientists have discovered a new variant of Covid-19 called the omicron variant. This variant was first discovered in Africa where vaccination rates are roughly 25% of the population. According to scientists, new variants are more likely to develop when fewer people are vaccinated.

Like the delta variant, the omicron variant is quickly spreading around the world and may one day become the dominant variant. Watch the video below to learn more about what scientists know about the omicron variant.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Dr. Margaret Harris, “The vaccines were designed, basically, to keep people out of hospital, and they’ve stood up and they’ve done that very well.” She told NPR, “We really need to know whether this particular version is going to change that picture.”

Omicron has yet to be associated with any deaths, and it has yet to be reported in the United States; however, the WHO warns that there may be new surges of Covid cases due to the new variant, and the new variant may “have severe consequences.”

Do you think the omicron variant will be more prevalent than the delta variant in the near future? Do you think the discovery of this new variant will lead to 2020 style lockdowns? Do you think the current vaccines will protect people from being hospitalized for Covid-19?