How you can protect your family against the Omicron COVID-19 variant

Coronavirus Local Impact

The South African doctor who alerted officials of the possibility of a new variant, later named omicron, said the “unusual but mild” symptoms were what caught her attention. (Photo: Getty Images)

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Health experts are warning tonight of the Omicron variant. It’s another mutation of the coronavirus and it’s spreading around the world. 22News looked into its potential resistance to our vaccines, and how to make sure you and your family can stay protected.

Despite the global alarm there is still little understanding about the variant and how harmful it may be. What we do know is that it’s spreading, and it may already be in the united states. The World Health Organization says the global risk of the new omicron variant is “very high.”

The new variant was first detected in southern Africa last week, and has now been reported in countries around the world. While there is limited information about the variant, health experts say the vaccines that are out now will provide protection.

“What has scientists concerned about this variant is the number of mutations and a lot of those mutations are present on the spike protein which is the entry point for the virus into cells. It is something we need to watch and is something we will learn more about in next couple of weeks,” says Dr. Robert Roose, Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Medical Center.

There are no reported cases in the U.S, but it’s close by. Canada over the weekend reported cases of the variant. If you are fully vaccinated, health experts now say that may not be enough and that you should also get your booster shot.

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