Ohio health leaders: vaccines, boosters likely effective against omicron variant

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 4:51 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTAP) - Ohio has seen as many as 9,000 new COVID-19 cases a day during the past week-and hospitalizations have matched the peak reached back in January.

State health officials held a briefing Thursday, adding nearly all of those hospitalized were unvaccinated, and the overall cases are still driven by those who have not gotten the COVID-19 shot.

They add those cases are still related to the delta variant, but believe the vaccinations are still effective against the spreading omicron variant.

”Omicron is here, probably in Ohio, we have not identified it yet,” said Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, Medical Director for Infectious Diseases at Ohio Health. “But when we do first identify it, it’s nothing to be alarmed about. We have the tools we need already today. In the setting of what we’ve been doing for nearly two years, nothing changes in what we defeat omicron and potential future variants.”

The largest increase in cases has so far been in northern Ohio, but health experts continue to express concern-as was the case a year ago-that there could be a statewide spike as a result of holiday gatherings.

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