For Immediate Release: November 29, 2021
Statement from Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, on Omicron Variant
The emergence of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus, called Omicron, is an important reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is still here with us, and we will continue to monitor any new developments closely. There have been no identified cases associated with the Omicron variant in Vermont to date.
Right now, vaccines are still our best defense against COVID-19. If you have not yet gotten your vaccine or booster shot, now is the time. Both take about two weeks to be fully effective, and as we get further into the holiday season, the more people who are protected, the better off we will all be. Visit healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine to find a location near you.
There is a lot that is still unknown about this new variant, but it appears to be more infectious, already showing up in various countries, including Canada. Research over the next few weeks will determine whether Omicron will affect the severity of illnesses, and how effective the current vaccines are against Omicron.
The Health Department continues to obtain genomic sequencing information on SARS-CoV-2 specimens and will report any detection of the Omicron variant in Vermont.
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