Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Dr. Frank McGeorge has been keeping viewers up-to-date and informed on all fronts. He’s been answering your questions about the vaccine, the vaccination process and more.
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I keep hearing that omicron doesn’t make people as sick as delta, but doctors are more worried about omicron. Isn’t it good that people don’t get as sick?
It is good that the preliminary data suggest an omicron illness may not be as severe -- however, data also suggests it is significantly more contagious and seems to more easily reinfect previously infected people. The risk with omicron is if it infects way more people, the number of people with severe illness may in fact still end up higher.
Is there any research on if the home rapid tests will pick up the omicron variant? Also wondered if any research on omicron is being done to see how long it lives on surfaces and if social distancing should be adjusted. It seems all the research was on the original strain and may no longer apply.
Regarding the rapid test, the short answer is yes. They will pick up variant infections like delta or omicron. The most worrisome mutations that cause us to be more concerned about a specific variant are on the spike protein. The beauty is that home tests aren’t testing for the spike protein, they test for a different protein called the nucleocapsid protein.
As far as the variants surviving longer on surfaces, or in the air -- that’s not a concern. The increased risk with variants onto our cells once they’ve made it into our respiratory tract and possibly an increase in replication in our cells. They don’t have any added durability in the air or on surfaces.
My wife and I received he Pfizer vaccine in April, 2021. We both had breakthrough cases of COVID with mild symptoms at the end of November. Should we still receive the booster? If so, when would be the best time?
You should still receive the booster, especially since you had a mild case of COVID, which is less likely to have generated a large immune response. You can get your booster anytime.
Many people who have received a booster are asking how will they know if they eventually need to get another one?
Researchers are tracking the people in the booster clinical trials to see how their protection holds up over time. Any recommendation for additional boosters would come from the CDC down the road.
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