Vaccines prove to be effective against different COVID variants

Riley Henderson, Assistant Editor

    Sixty-three percent of the United States population is vaccinated. Still, with new variants of COVID-19, such as the Omicron virus, on the rise, people are beginning to question whether or not the vaccine protects against new strains.    

   As of Jan. 3, the United States has had 1 million positive confirmed cases. To sum up the commonly asked question of whether or not the vaccine aids in preventing and protecting against different variants, officials have stated that they do indeed help. 

   Omicron only shows that the vaccine’s effectiveness is lower than initially thought, with an infectious preventative rate of about 30-40 percent and a 70 percent effectiveness rate at preventing severe disease.

   A study done by Melissa Hawkins, an epidemiologist and public health researcher at American University, found that a third dose would help boost immune response and protection against Omicron, which are most commonly known as a booster shot. 

   Many officials are beginning to hope that this may be the final wave. In South Africa, they saw a considerable surge similar to that in America. Within five to eight weeks, numbers decreased down to the previous numbers. 

   The World Health Organization director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has played a significant role in publicizing updates regarding Covid variants. 

     Pfizer, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation, is a vaccine-making leader. They were one of the first companies to create an effective vaccine. Pfizer has now developed an antiviral drug that works against the Omicron variant. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Paxlovid; a drug Pfizer came out with for emergency use to treat mild cases of Covid for people at high risk. 

   There is a lot of false information about the vaccine going around. But it has shown promising results to Covid and has stopped people from getting admitted to the hospital. Unvaccinated people are 13 times more likely to be hospitalized than fully vaccinated.