Omicron Detected Today in CA: Be Prepared & Get Your Booster Now

A new COVID-19 virus variant named Omicron is rapidly spreading around the globe and has today been detected in California. The infected individual was vaccinated but had not received a booster shot. The many mutations in Omicron increase its rate of transmission, but it uncertain whether it causes more severe disease than currently circulating viruses like the highly prevalent Delta variant. Nonetheless, we all should be concerned enough to take actions that will prevent another winter surge of infections that could fill up our hospital beds and paralyze our medical care system.

What should you do to prepare for Omicron?
    1. Get a booster shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as soon as possible if more than 6 months have elapsed since your first two shots, as the CDC recommends
    2. If you got the Johnson & Johnson single shot vaccine, get a booster shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as soon as possible (don’t wait 6 months).
    3. Even if you are fully vaccinated with booster shots, wear a mask in any settings with large gatherings.
    4. Consider testing yourself with a rapid home COVID antigen test (e.g., BinaxNOW is available at CVS) the day before house guests arrive. Ask them to do the same. Cancel the visit if anyone tests positive.
    5. Stay tuned in for more information about the Omicron variant as it emerges over the next few weeks.
    6. If you have had any doubts about getting vaccinated, now is the time to reconsider.