FACT FINDERS: Should you wait for new omicron tailored booster?

KOLD News 5:30-6 p.m. Sundays recurring
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:19 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With the emergence of Omicron, we know vaccine-makers are working on a shot that is tailored to that specific variant. However, should you wait for that shot or get the booster that is available now knowing it is possibly not as effective against omicron?

Dr. Joe Gerald, an Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of Arizona, says while a new vaccine is in the works, it will take some time before it is available and your best bet is to get boosted now with the vaccine we currently have.

”Pfizer and Moderna have indicated that they are aware of this variant and they are beginning to tailor their potential new vaccines to counter this threat,” he said. “But it would probably take three to six months before new boosters would be available to combat this threat. So, in the short term, we’re going to have to deal with this variant the way that we’re dealing with the delta variant.”

He says that means getting vaccinated or boosted with the current vaccine and also wearing a good mask as well as staying physically distant. He also said omicron does not change our public health stance in Arizona right now. He added it is important to know it is out there but any health ramifications of omicron for us are in the future and we are in the midst of a delta wave now.

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