With the first confirmed case of the Omicron coronavirus identified today in the United States and as the variant continues to spread around the world, scientists are working to evaluate the risks and answer critical questions such as whether the variant is more infectious and if the current vaccines might be less effective. Rutgers Today spoke with some of the university’s experts in infectious disease, epidemiology, pediatrics and global health about Omicron, which the World Health Organization has labeled a variant of concern.

Should people still get vaccinated?

“The Omicron variant certainly raises concerns. However, the consequence of the variant on morbidity and mortality remains unclear. The bottom line — everyone should get vaccinated as soon as possible as more data becomes available. Despite a universal feeling of COVID-19 fatigue, substantial progress, tenacity and fortitude have in part curbed the pandemic. This year is fundamentally different from last year regarding COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.  Variants of SARS CoV-2 are inevitable but vaccines have saved lives.”  To read the full story.