ANSWER DESK: Outlining the differences between Omicron, Delta variants | Connecticut News
(WFSB) – The Omicron variant was first detected nearly three weeks ago.
So what do we know about this latest COVID strain of concern?
Two things seem to have doctors optimistic, Omicron cases seem to be more mild compared to Delta and vaccines seem to help, but even unvaccinated people are seeing less severe symptoms.
That, of course, is good, but doctors say it also requires more studying.
“We’re getting a lot of interesting data from really other parts of the world,” Dr. F. Perry Wilson of the Yale University School of Medicine tells us.
Doctors say we’re getting new information about Omicron every day.
This includes more signs that vaccines may not be as effective at stopping an infection from omicron. Why is that?
“This is a little harder to get your antibodies around than Delta,” Dr. Wilson explained.
But early signs indicate that the vaccine still helps prevent serious cases of COVID.
So far, Omicron cases have been more mild, even among the unvaccinated.
So are doctors ready to declare Omicron less severe than Delta?
“One big unknown is out there and that’s how many of these unvaccinated people may have been previously been infected with some other variant of coronavirus,” continued Dr. Wilson.
There are also two COVID pills waiting for FDA approval.
Pfizer says it’s pill is nearly ninety percent effective in preventing hospitalization after infection, but will those pills work against Omicron?
Unlike other treatments, doctors say these pills aren’t really impacted by mutations.
Supply is likely to be limited at first as companies ramp up manufacturing.
So who will get prescriptions at first?
“You want to get this into people quite early, so people might want to know about that, and, of course, we’re going to be looking at treating higher risk people first,” Dr. Wilson.
One reason doctors feel better than they did a year ago is the vaccine.