Geisinger Monitoring Omicron Through Local Studies
DANVILLE – While the omicron variant of COVID-19 has made its way to the United States, it has yet to hit the Valley.
Geisinger Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Alison Brodginski says the health system is looking at sequencing circulations of the virus in the community, “So in the event we do come across an omicron variant, we will be identifying that within our hospital system and make sure we relay that information to the health department.”
Dr. Brodginski says the issue with omicron is there are lots of mutations associated with it, bring with it lots of questions, “Do these changes or mutations cause this variant to be easily more transmittable? One of the top questions is, ‘what does this mean for those that are vaccinated?’ now that we have this new variant.”
She says what we do know is the vaccines are providing some security against COVID variants so far, “I think that sometimes is getting misconstrued. The vaccines are still working. They’re still working against other variants of concern that have been out there like alpha, like delta. The vaccines are still protecting those that perhaps are vaccinated and getting infected from coming to the hospital. They’re still protecting those from dying.”
Dr. Brodginski also says pharmaceutical companies have been vocal stating their looking at their vaccines vs. the omicron variant. She says if they find out the current vaccines don’t offer that protection, they’ll make sure they are reformulated.