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Omicron Variant: What You Need to Know

Published: 12/28/21

Omicron in the United States

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is working with state and local public health officials to monitor the spread of Omicron. As of December 20, 2021, Omicron has been detected in most states and territories and is rapidly increasing the proportion of COVID-19 cases it is causing.

What We Know about Omicron

CDC has been collaborating with global public health and industry partners to learn about Omicron. 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

Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging.

Read more from the CDC.


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