Bet: Vaccines remain the best bet against all variants of COVID-19 | News, Sports, Jobs – Community News
Covid-19

Bet: Vaccines remain the best bet against all variants of COVID-19 | News, Sports, Jobs

HOWARD GOK

WHEELING – While details about many things related to the ommicron variant of COVID-19 recently discovered in Africa remain up in the air, a local health official says getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from variants .

Wheeling-Ohio County Health Administrator Howard Gamble said Tuesday that while the ultimate impact of the omicron variant has yet to be seen, the best protection against all variant strains — including the delta variant, which is likely still the predominant strain — remains the vaccine. .

The four major COVID vaccines, available through Pfizer, Pfizer Pediatric, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, provide protection against the baseline COVID virus, which provides general protection against its variants.

“Every time a new strain of the virus is discovered, the question is, how well do current vaccine and booster series protect us against it?” said Gamble. “Right now the vaccine we are administering is for the original virus that was detected. Occasionally you will see a variant of the original virus.

“The thinking is that the original vaccine protects us from the original virus and although there is a slight difference between alpha, gamma, delta, this ommicron, it is still part of the original virus,” he continued.

“You still have a certain level of protection against every possible voltage.”

Gamble said people’s continued reluctance to get vaccinated means there are more chances for the disease to spread and take hold, and mutate further. In Ohio County, 68.5% of five-year-olds or older are at least partially vaccinated, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources.

“All vaccines, as we all know, are not 100%… and not enough people were vaccinated against the virus when the vaccine was rolled out,” he said. “We’re almost a year old and we’re still struggling with issues of, ‘I’m not going to get it, I still have questions, I think it’s this and that.’ While we should have gotten over that by now, and vaccinated in the high 80s or 90% against a virus that is now a global pandemic, we’re not there yet.

“As a result, we will see different strains emerge as the virus circulates,” he added. “It’s about finding new hosts. Not enough people are vaccinated so they can’t easily find a new host and start burning out.”

Gamble had previously said that while new species are emerging and circulating, the difference between species is not noticeable to the average person. Many tests performed, Gamble said, only indicate the presence or absence of COVID and are not sent off to determine whether a variant strain is present.

“Most of our cases are a delta variant, but that doesn’t change the variable,” he said. “We only have one (type of) vaccine. You have a standard response to a positive – isolation, quarantine, symptom control and, if necessary, symptomatic treatment. We have specific treatments, but there is nothing new. There is no … new vaccine to address this variant.”

Today’s latest news and more in your inbox