News Flash

Snohomish Health District Media Releases

Posted on: December 3, 2021

Top Six Things to Know about Omicron, Vaccines and Booster Doses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                
December 3, 2021

CONTACT:
Heather Thomas, 425.339.8688
communications@snohd.org

Top Six Things to Know about Omicron, Vaccines and Booster Doses

Emergence of another variant of concern underscores need for vaccines


SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The World Health Organization (WHO) classified the new B.1.1.529 variant as a Variant of Concern and named it Omicron—the Greek letter “O”—in keeping with recent naming conventions for COVID-19 variants. At least two confirmed cases have been identified in the United States. This has drawn a lot of attention and questions in the community. Here are the top things to know:

  • Omicron is not cause for panicThe emergence of yet another variant of concern is a somber reminder that elimination of COVID is an unlikely scenario. However, the emergence of Omicron should come as no surprise. This is what viruses do. New mutations arise, with the stronger ones displacing their predecessors. We have already seen this time and again with COVID, and Omicron won’t be the last. Despite the detection of Omicron, Delta remains the predominant strain in the United States.
     
  • Scientists are still studying Omicron. It may spread more easily than other variants, including Delta, but due to the small number of cases, the current severity of illness and death associated with this variant is unclear. Currently there are no signals of increased severity coming from South Africa, where it was first detected and most of the cases are. Also unknown is whether or to what extent the spike protein mutations in omicron reduce protection from vaccination or prior infection. Further investigation is underway in these respects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been actively monitoring and preparing for this variant and is continuing to work diligently with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more.

  • Keep up the same prevention measuresWe know what it takes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we must continue to keep our guard up with masking, physical distancing, increased ventilation, and other prevention measures. Everyone 5 years and older should protect themselves from COVID-19, and variants like omicron, by getting fully vaccinated. The Health District and CDC also encourage a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for everyone who is at least 18 years old and six months past their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two months past their single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
     
  • Get vaccinated if you’re eligible, including a boosterBreakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are expected, but vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. 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.
     
  • It might take a few days or weeks to get an appointment. Vaccines are available, but people may need to schedule 1-2 weeks out. The issue right now isn’t so much supply of the vaccines, but available slots for appointments. Pharmacies, healthcare providers and community clinics are balancing the demand for pediatric vaccines and booster doses at the same time. It’s the same people administering the vaccines and we are in the midst of a system-wide healthcare worker shortage.
     
  • Plan ahead for holiday travel. People should plan ahead to ensure they are fully vaccinated or get those booster doses in time for travel or celebrations with friends and family. Also monitor for updates on testing or further travel requirements and restrictions. For instance, the CDC announced that all international travelers entering the U.S. must now have proof of a negative test within one day of travel, regardless of vaccination status. Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling. State, local, and territorial governments may have additional travel restrictions in place.

District Vaccine and Testing Clinic Schedule

In response to growing demand, the Health District has an additional day of vaccination appointments available for those 12+ at the Ash Way Park & Ride site. It is now open Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., though all appointments are booked through Dec. 10. Additional appointments for future weeks will be available soon at www.snohd.org/drivethru.

The full schedule for next week is as follows:

  • Testing at Everett site located at 3715 Oakes Avenue – Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Ash Way Park & Ride location at 16327 Ash Way in Lynnwood offers vaccines Wednesdays through Fridays. Testing is also available Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Appointments for testing are available at www.snohd.org/testing and vaccine appointments at www.snohd.org/drivethru

Those without internet access, needing language assistance, or requiring additional support in scheduling can reach the Health District’s call center at 425.339.5278 to schedule a testing or vaccine appointment. Callers after hours or on holidays or weekends can leave a message, which will be returned on the next business day.

##END##

 

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Snohomish Health District Media Releases

Board of Health Meeting - July 12

Posted on: July 8, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - June 14

Posted on: June 10, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - May 10

Posted on: May 9, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - March 8

Posted on: March 4, 2022

Statewide Mask Orders to End March 21

Posted on: February 17, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - February 8

Posted on: February 7, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - January 18

Posted on: January 15, 2022

Board of Health Meeting - December 14

Posted on: December 10, 2021

Recipe for a Safer Thanksgiving

Posted on: November 19, 2021

Don’t Forget to Register for v-safe

Posted on: November 12, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - November 9

Posted on: November 6, 2021

Tips for a Safer Halloween

Posted on: October 15, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - October 12

Posted on: October 11, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - September 14

Posted on: September 13, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - July 13

Posted on: July 12, 2021

Staying Healthy and Cool in the Heat

Posted on: June 25, 2021

Life After the Vaccines

Posted on: June 11, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - June 8

Posted on: June 7, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - May 11

Posted on: May 10, 2021

It Takes All of Us. Take Your Shot.

Posted on: April 30, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - April 13

Posted on: April 12, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - March 9

Posted on: March 8, 2021

COVID Vaccines and Visiting with Elders

Posted on: February 19, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - February 9

Posted on: February 8, 2021

Play it Smart this Super Bowl Sunday

Posted on: February 5, 2021

Board of Health Meeting - January 19

Posted on: January 17, 2021

COVID-19 Updates in Snohomish County

Posted on: December 22, 2020

COVID Vaccines Arrive in Snohomish County

Posted on: December 18, 2020

COVID-19 Updates in Snohomish County

Posted on: December 11, 2020

Give Thanks, Not COVID

Posted on: November 13, 2020

Board of Health Meeting - October 13

Posted on: October 12, 2020

Tips for Celebrating Halloween Safely

Posted on: September 30, 2020

Board of Health Meeting - September 8

Posted on: September 7, 2020

Board of Health Meeting, August 11

Posted on: August 10, 2020

COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Update

Posted on: August 3, 2020

Board of Health Meeting - July 14

Posted on: July 13, 2020

Board of Health Meeting - June 9

Posted on: June 5, 2020

Drive-up COVID-19 Testing Schedule

Posted on: May 29, 2020

Drive-up COVID-19 Testing Schedule

Posted on: May 18, 2020

Stay Home, Stay Healthy Updates

Posted on: May 1, 2020

Board of Health Meeting, April 14

Posted on: April 13, 2020

Board of Health Meeting, March 10

Posted on: March 9, 2020

Board of Health Meeting, December 10

Posted on: December 6, 2019

Flu season arrives in Snohomish County

Posted on: December 2, 2019

Prepare for Flu Season

Posted on: October 14, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, September 10

Posted on: September 9, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, July 9

Posted on: July 5, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, June 11

Posted on: June 10, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, May 14

Posted on: May 10, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, April 9

Posted on: April 5, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, March 12

Posted on: March 8, 2019

Board of Health Meeting, Feb. 12

Posted on: February 8, 2019