Omicron variant calls for increased vaccination

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As a case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the United States, the Northern Olympic Peninsula health official strongly urges residents to get their shots and booster shots if they don’t. have not already done so.

The omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. It infected a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, three days before scientists in that country announced they had found the new variant.

All residents 18 years of age and older who were vaccinated more than six months ago are eligible to receive a booster dose, and all residents 5 years and older are eligible to be vaccinated.

Preliminary reports indicate that omicron has a greater possibility of re-infection with COVID-19 in people who have acquired immunity to the virus only through infection and not vaccination, said Dr. Allison Berry, chief health officer for the counties of Clallam and Jefferson.

“We’re still collecting data on the omicron and evaluating the variant as a whole, but what we’ve seen is an early indication of increased reinfection,” Berry said.

“If the immunity you now have is only due to a previous infection with COVID, we strongly encourage you to get vaccinated to protect yourself from COVID in general, but especially omicron.

“The other first indications that we are seeing are to be fully vaccinated and especially to have this booster will play a key role in obtaining this immunity.

“If you are eligible for a recall and haven’t received one, we encourage you to do so. ”

Berry said she had heard from some residents that if they were given a booster it would take the vaccine away from someone else in another country.

This is not the case, she said.

Global inequalities in vaccine distribution are due to the amount delivered to some counties and the fact that some countries lack the infrastructure to deliver vaccines to residents, she said.

“We have to work on this nationally and politically, but if there is a vaccine here for you and you are eligible for a booster, I encourage you to take it,” Berry said. “Skipping a reminder here isn’t going to send it to someone in the Global South. ”

Residents can find appointments for vaccination and appointments for booster doses using the state vaccination locator at www.vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov.

According to the latest data from the state Department of Health, 82.7% of the population aged 12 and over in Jefferson County have started vaccinations, with 78.4% fully vaccinated.

Of the general population, 76.1% have started vaccination and 72.1% are fully vaccinated, according to the state dashboard.

In Clallam County, 77 percent of the population aged 12 and over have started to be vaccinated, of which 72 percent are fully vaccinated.

Of the total population, 68.4 percent have started vaccinations, including 64 percent fully vaccinated, according to the state’s dashboard.

No overvoltage for the moment

Health officials continue to closely monitor new cases due to the potential for an increase caused by the Thanksgiving holiday, but so far no increase has been seen, Berry said.

“It’s still pretty early on, but it’s hopeful so far,” Berry said. “It will be interesting to see.

“This is the first time that we have a vacation with vaccines available. The majority of residents in our two counties are vaccinated, which may well protect us from a large-scale Thanksgiving wave. That remains to be seen. ”

Clallam County added 22 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The county has confirmed a total of 5,295 cases since the start of the pandemic, according to county health data.

Jefferson County added eight cases on Wednesday. The county has confirmed a total of 1,311 cases since the start of the pandemic, according to county public health data.

Clallam County had a case rate of 175 per 100,000 population over the past two weeks on Wednesday, according to county public health data.

Jefferson County will update its case rate on Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday last week. Health officials recorded a case rate of 192.61 per 100,000 for the two weeks preceding November 17.

Neither counties reported deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday. Clallam County has seen 72 residents die from COVID-19, while Jefferson County has seen 19 residents die from the virus.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]



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