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Northeast Ohio doctors urging adults to get COVID booster with confirmed Omicron case in U.S.

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 7:47 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - With the first case of the COVID-19 variant, Omicron, confirmed in California, health experts say it’s only a matter of time before it reaches and impacts Northeast Ohio.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that the case was an individual who had returned to California from South Africa. The new Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa. It’s now spread to at least 15 countries.

“It’s definitely something that freaks me out a little bit,” said Aiden Zingale, a college student in the Cleveland area, who takes the bus to and from classes everyday.

Zingale said he’s happy winter break is around the corner, but the reason why is not one you might expect to hear from a Gen Z.

“I’m going to have a month break while this new variant kind of not like settles in, but we learn more about it,” Zingale told 19 News.

Zingale is fully vaccinated and said he’s hoping to soon to get a booster shot. That’s a move the Centers for Disease Control and Protection is now strongly recommending to all adults.

The CDC is recommending those 18 and older, who are currently eligible in the U.S. to get the extra dose, not put off making an appointment.

“I think there’s data out there to really support getting it and additional dose at this point,” said Dr. Thaddeus Stappenbeck, with Cleveland Clinic.

But many we spoke are with wondering: are the current COVID-19 vaccines strong enough to fight this new variant?

Dr. Stappenbeck said it’s a little too early to tell, but is remaining positive that no change to the current vaccine will be needed.

“With all the other 3 variants of concern that we saw, the vaccines are all equally eventually,” he said.

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