CDC: What to know about Omicron Variant
Top Things You Need to Know
1. New variants of the virus are expected to occur. Taking steps to reduce
the spread of infection, including getting a COVID-19 vaccine, are the
best way to slow the emergence of new variants.
2. Vaccines reduce your risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death
3. COVID-19 booster doses are recommended for adults ages 18 and
older. Teens 16–17 years old who received Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-
19 vaccines can get a booster dose if they are at least 6 months post
their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.
First identified: South Africa
Spread: May spread more easily than other variants, including Delta.
Severe illness and death: Due to the small number of cases, the current severity
of illness and death associated with this variant is unclear.
Vaccine: Breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are
expected, but vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations,
and death. Early evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who become
infected with the Omicron variant can spread the virus to others. All FDA-
approved or authorized vaccines are expected to be effective against severe
illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. The recent emergence of the Omicron
variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.
Treatments: Some monoclonal antibody treatments may not be as effective
against infection with Omicron.