COVID

Here’s what Ashish Jha says about omicron, vaccine effectiveness

“I think there is reason to be concerned that our vaccines may take a hit."

It isn’t surprising that the omicron variant of the coronavirus has reached the United States, according to Dr. Ashish Jha.

But there are a couple of things that can be done now in the early stages of the variant’s arrival, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health said, while appearing on Good Morning America Thursday.

“One is to track the spread of this variant across our country using both genomic sequencing and just regular testing,” he said. “And then the second is to see how these people are doing. See how vaccinated people are doing with this infection, see how unvaccinated people are doing, seeing if it’s causing milder or more severe disease. Those are all things that will be critical to watch in the days and weeks ahead.”

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On vaccine effectiveness, Jha said that’s still to be determined.

“We just need more data at this point, we just don’t know,” he said. “I think there is reason to be concerned that our vaccines may take a hit. I’m pretty confident if you’re fully boosted you’re gonna have a high degree of protection. We’ll know more in the next week to 10 days.”

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