Protection site

QC health officials: vaccine remains best protection against Omicron COVID-19 variant

Latest COVID-19 variant known as ‘Omicron’ is upon us and may already be here in the United States

Janet Hill, director of operations for the Rock Island County Health Department, compares the Omicron variant to the Delta variant. Both started in a foreign country and spread quickly.

“It started in another part of the world, but it quickly became the dominant variant,” Hill said of the Delta variant. “We can hope Omicron doesn’t become Delta, but we just don’t have the information yet.”

Health information officials don’t yet know how deadly Omicron is: “What we don’t know is how much of a variant it is,” Hill said.

Either way, Hill joins many other health officials across the country in saying getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect themselves, which many on Rock Island and in the surrounding counties have not yet done so.

“The best protection against this variant is to be vaccinated,” Hill said. “We have about 50% of the people in Rock Island County who have yet to be vaccinated, so getting that first dose is your best protection.”

As for the new Omicron variant, she says we’ll probably know more very soon.

“Over the next week, we’ll be able to answer more of these questions,” Hill said.