While we encourage everyone in our community vaccinated, it is important to remember that wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing and monitoring yourself for symptoms are still the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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What We Know about Omicron

CDC has been collaborating with global public health and industry partners to learn about Omicron, as we continue to monitor its course. We don’t yet know how easily it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, or how well available vaccines and medications work against it.

Spread

The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.

Severe Illness

More data are needed to know if Omicron infections, and especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants.

Vaccines

Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.

Treatments

Scientists are working to determine how well existing treatments for COVID-19 work. Based on the changed genetic make-up of Omicron, some treatments are likely to remain effective while others may be less effective.

We have the Tools to Fight Omicron

  • Vaccines
  • Masks
  • Testing
  • Physical Distancing
  • Avoiding Crowds
  • Wash your Hands
  • Clean and Disinfect

COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: 12 Things You Need To Know

1. The COVID-19 vaccine was created quickly but was carefully tested for safety.

2. COVID vaccine side effects are temporary and do not mean you’re sick.

3. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from getting sick.

4. Diversity in COVID-19 vaccine testing helped assess safety and effectiveness.

5. Do you have allergies? You can probably still get the COVID-19 vaccine.

6. People of color are especially vulnerable to severe COVID-19.

7. If you’ve already had COVID-19, getting the vaccine will add extra protection.

8. Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 helps others in your community.

9. More vaccinations for COVID-19 mean a chance to get back to normal.

10. It is recommended that all pregnant or lactating individuals, along with those trying to get pregnant, be vaccinated against COVID-19.

11. COVID-19 Vaccines: Time is of the essence. Waiting too long to be vaccinated allows the coronavirus to continue spreading in the community, with new variants emerging.

12. Do your research. Your questions are important, and getting the right answers from reliable sources can add to your peace of mind. Talk to your family doctor and people you know who have been vaccinated and learn all you can about the COVID-19 vaccine so you can make the most informed decision about getting vaccinated.

Source: John Hopkins Medicine

Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy:

Most people in the United States are planning to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but some may want more information before seeking vaccination. They may want to know more about COVID-19 vaccines, including the process for developing and authorizing these vaccines and information about their safety and effectiveness. People may also have previous experiences that affect their trust and confidence in the health system, which could affect their decision to get vaccinated.

By taking time to listen to their concerns and answer their questions, you can help people become confident in their decision to get vaccinated. Also, when you decide to get vaccinated and share the reasons why you did, you can have a powerful influence on your family and community. Strong confidence in the vaccines within communities leads to more people getting vaccinated, which leads to fewer COVID-19 illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Addressing Common Hesitations

For more information on addressing vaccine hesitancy, please visit the CDC’s webpage: Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines