COVID-19 Vaccine vs. Omicron: Spread Rate of Omicron Variant, Vaccine Resistance Revealed in Studies

COVID-19 Vaccine vs. Omicron: Spread Rate of Omicron Variant, Vaccine Resistance Revealed in Studies
Thinking if you should get your COVID-19 booster shot? According to researchers, the Omicron variant might be less severe, but it multiplies roughly 70 times faster than Delta. Even worse, it can partially escape immunity from vaccines! Photo : Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Thinking if you should get your COVID-19 booster shot? According to researchers, the Omicron variant might be less severe, but it multiplies roughly 70 times faster than Delta. Even worse, it can partially escape immunity from vaccines!

Many Americans are probably familiar with the Omicron variant. However, not all might be aware of its unique features. According to recent studies, it has a high transmissibility rate that should not be underestimated.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant Spread Rate

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong just revealed their latest findings on Omicron. They said the virus "replicated less efficiently (more than 10 times lower) in the human lung tissue than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, which may suggest lower severity of disease," per the New York Post.

This implies that victims might not suffer from severe illnesses or death. However, there is still a cause for concern because the virus transmits between humans faster than any of the previous strains.

If underestimated, the virus might "very likely" spread among both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Researchers theorized that by infecting more people, the Omicron variant might also mutate to a more severe strain.

On top of its spread rate, researchers emphasized a second issue with the Omicron variant.

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COVID-19 Vaccine vs. Omicron: Resistance Revealed

According to researchers from the Columbia University, the Omicron variant might be resistant to vaccine and booster shots, which could be devastating news for the country.

They said, "a striking feature of this variant is the large number of spike mutations that pose a threat to the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapies," per a different New York Post report.

Pairing up Omicron's transmissibility to its vaccine-immunity feature, it might soon become the dominant COVID-19 strain in the U.S., eclipsing the Delta variant.

Experts emphasized in the study that "it is not too far-fetched to think that this [COVID-19] is now only a mutation or two away from being pan-resistant to current antibodies. We must devise strategies that anticipate the evolutional direction of the virus and develop agents that target better conserved viral elements," as New York Post furthered.

The situation is still developing and experts have yet to reveal another solution against this threat. For now, Americans are being urged to get their booster shots, if only to combat against the previous variants.

It is worth noting that earlier this week, the White House just announced its "tragic milestone" of 800,000 deaths due to COVID-19. During the announcement, President Joe Biden also released a statement saying, "I urge all Americans: do your patriotic duty to keep our country safe, to protect yourself and those around you, and to honor the memory of all those we have lost. Now is the time."

Americans are also recommended to watch out and avoid areas on infection with the Omicron variant. Fortunately, there are a few online tools that can make this job easier.

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