Alabama health officials say COVID-19 could be around for decades

Omicron variant's affect on the COVID vaccine
Published: Dec. 11, 2021 at 9:39 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 11, 2021 at 10:15 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State health officials said the Delta Variant is still the biggest concern about COVID-19 in Alabama, but the Omicron variant is now in more than 20 states and doctors are watching it.

Pfizer vaccine officials said two doses of their vaccine are likely not strong enough to protect against the Omicron variant, saying a booster is really needed for full protection.

Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association said that is normal. He said a new variant emerging is not because current vaccines aren’t good or don’t work, but because low vaccination numbers give the virus a chance to replicate.

Williamson said most viruses tend to mutate to be more infectious but less deadly, but more data is needed for officials to know exactly what Omicron causes.

He said this new variant just means COVID-19 is still going to stick around for a while, even with vaccines.

“This is not a short-term situation,” Williamson said. “We will be dealing with this virus for years, maybe decades. The good news is the longer we deal with it, the greater the likelihood this virus is going to be less of a disruptor to our society.”

Williamson said to get ahead of the variant and a potential surge, you need to get your first two doses and your booster for full protection.


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