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Health leaders say unvaccinated population will contribute to spread of Omicron variant

Health leaders urge COVID-19 vaccinations
Published: Dec. 25, 2021 at 10:58 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Health leaders are urging vaccines as the Omicron Variant spreads across Alabama.

With only 47 percent of the state fully vaccinated, UAB infectious disease expert, Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo said more people need the shot to protect against the more infectious Omicron strain.

Reports show the new variant may not cause as severe disease, but Marrazzo said too many young people still think they won’t get very sick and too many people are relying on natural immunity. She said those aren’t strong enough for the new strain and without the shot, Marrazzo said you will just spread the virus further.

“Your decision to get infected is unfortunately not just going to be affecting you,” she said. “It’s going to be serving a source of incredible infectiousness going forward.”

Dr. Marrazzo said more data is still needed to know exactly how much illness this new variant causes and it’s too early to assume you’d be fine from catching it.

“How confident are we that all these infections are going to be not severe?” Marrazzo said. “I think we need more data to say that for sure and we don’t know if that’s true in cases where people have other comorbidities.”

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