What to know about Omicron, the vaccines, the boosters, and staying safe
The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is now the dominant variant in the United States and since December cases have been skyrocketing.
Vaccines and boosters
What makes this variant concerning is how easily Omicron spreads and its ability to breakthrough and cause infection even for those who are vaccinated. Additionally, according to the CDC, it is possible current treatments may be less effective on this variant. Unvaccinated people are at significant risk for severe illness and death. This is particularly true for those with underlying health conditions.
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of infection and severe illness, most importantly you should get vaccinated. The CDC states that “Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant…The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination.”
In addition, in a recent statement, Dr. Peter Marks, director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research stated, “Based on the FDA’s assessment of currently available data, a booster dose of the currently authorized vaccines may help provide better protection against both the Delta and Omicron variants.”
How can you stay safe
“Patients with sarcoidosis looking to stay safe during this latest outbreak of COVID should get their vaccines and their boosters,” says Dr. Marc Judson, FSR Clinical Studies Network Member, former FSR Scientific Advisory Board member, and sarcoidosis expert from Albany Medical Center. “Furthermore, it is critical to wear good quality masks, social distance, and wash your hands frequently as recommended by the CDC.”
About the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research
The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for this disease and to improving care for sarcoidosis patients. Since its establishment in 2000, FSR has fostered over $5 million in sarcoidosis-specific research efforts and has worked diligently to provide resources to thousands. Click here to join our community.