Vanderbild experts call the Omicron variant one of the concerns – Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-12-01 15:20:56 –

Nashville, Tennessee — Dr. William Schaffner sits in a place of concern about the latest COVID-19 variant.

Infectious disease experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center said the first variant of Omicron found in South Africa could arrive soon in the United States and Tennessee. He said it was only a matter of time before the variants appeared locally after being reported in North America.

“This Omicron variant has accumulated a series of mutations that include that important aspect of the virus,” Schaffner said. “What we call a spike protein. Think of a virus as a small ball of spikes sticking out. That spike protein is what we’re talking about. That’s the key. When the virus hits a cell, it’s the key. The virus invades the cell and proliferates to initiate the development of the disease. The vaccine does so that it aggregates on its peplomer and is protected because it cannot invade the cell. Is this possible? Omicron? Does the new peplomer of the variant circumvent the protection of our vaccine? “

In a speech to the country earlier on Monday, President Joe Biden said the country should have some concern, but not panic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told Biden that it would take another two weeks to get clearer information about the infectivity, severity, and other characteristics of the Omicron variant. Still, according to the White House, Fauci continues to believe that existing vaccines are likely to provide some protection against severe cases of COVID-19.

“Many people are tired of COVID,” Schaffner said. “They want it to go away. They are not only tired but also annoying. I have to ask you to sit firmly. It goes on in some way. I think it’s a sad reality. “

He said the best option for people is to start masking again and get vaccinations and booster shots.

“Even in Omicron, boosters and vaccines give us a lot of antibodies,” he said. “This provides some protection against Omicron, apparently spreading people in Nashville, especially unvaccinated people, and providing protection against the sick Delta.”

WTVF Kyle Horan and Emily West first reported this story.

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